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'Lady Gaga' in Malaysian Open quarters
Wildcard entry Bethanie Mattek-Sands stormed into the quarter-finals of the rain-delayed BMW Malaysian Open Thursday when she crushed Duan Ying-Ying of China 6-1, 6-4.
The bubbly blonde, who is known as the Lady Gaga of tennis after attending the 2011 pre-Wimbledon party in a dress made of tennis balls created by the popstar's designer Alex Noble, hardly broke a sweat as she brushed aside her opponent.
The colourful American, who also sports several tattoos, was one of five players to secure quarter-final berths so far.
The others who have qualified are Japanese fourth seed Ayumi Morita, Karolina Pliskova, Ashleigh Barty and Luksika Kumkhum.
Defending champion Hsieh Su Wei of Taiwan only just completed her first round match against Kurumi Nara, winning 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4.
She will play Zhang Shuai later Thursday for a place in the final eight. Hsieh was struggling towards the end of the match, throwing away a 5-0 lead in the decider before eventually winning 6-4.
Mattek-Sands, who won the doubles title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last weekend with India's Sania Mirza, said: "I've never won any singles title before, even though I have reached a few finals.
"Maybe that first win will come in Malaysia."
Once ranked world number 30, Mattek-Sands has slipped to 197th.
She will play either Hsieh or Zhang in Friday's quarter-final.