India's Sania Mirza has entered her first quarterfinals at a WTA Tour tournament after three and a half years when she beat German wildcard Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-4 at the Family Circle Cup here.
It is Sania's first WTA Tour quarterfinal since San Diego in August 2007. The Indian, who came through the qualifiers, now plays 11th-seeded Chinese Shua Peng, who defeated seventh seed Russian Nadia Petrova 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
In their only meeting before Thursday, Sania was beaten by the German over three sets in Auckland in the run-up to the Australian Open in January.
Lisicki came into the match against Sania after stunning World No.12 and fourth-seeded Marion Bartoli in the pre-quarterfinals.
"We played once before, in Auckland just before the Australian Open, and I lost 7-6 in the third. So, I knew it was going to be a tough match. Obviously, Sabine was coming in after beating Bartoli, and I had a tough match also," Sania said.
"My body is pretty tired. I've been playing since Saturday every day, having to come through qualies and playing doubles as well, so I haven't really had a day off. I've had a few niggles in my body now, but I'm happy to come through a match like that, where I think I could have played better. It's always good to come through your matches when you aren't playing your best," Sania added.
Sania, who was once ranked World No. 27, said she is close to being her best.
"I would like to hope I did. I feel like I'm close to my best now. I was Top 30 two years ago. With my wrist injury it has been a tough couple of years and I'm just happy to be healthy again. I couldn't even hold a fork last year for five months. And to be back playing tennis, it's like a new life - to be winning is a bonus."