(CNN) -- World number one Dinara Safina crashed out of the WTA tournament in Los Angeles as Maria Sharapova battled back reach the quarterfinals with a three-set win over Alona Bondarenko.
Safina came up against an inspired opponent in 14th seed Zheng.
Safina, who became the first player to reach the WTA Tour Championships with her second round victory, was beaten 7-5 4-6 6-4 by China's Zheng Jie in a thrilling night match in California.
14th seed Zheng led 7-5 and 3-1 before Safina won nine of the next 12 games and looked set for victory at 4-2 in the decider.
But Zheng then rolled off four straight games to claim her first career win over the Russian.
"It's amazing for me, because I lost to her all four times we had played," Zheng told the official WTA Tour Web site www.wtatour.com.
"I don't know what happened in the first set, but I started to play much better in the second set. In the third set, I just didn't use my opportunities," Safina reflected.
Zheng will now face in-form Australian Samantha Stosur, who put out former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, the sixth seed from Serbia, 6-3 6-2, avenging a defeat at Wimbledon.
Sharapova also had a measure of revenge with her win over Ukraine's Bondarenko, who beat the former world number one in Warsaw on her return to the circuit after shoulder surgery.
Sharapova lost the first set 6-4 but then dropped only three games in taking the next two sets to earn a last eight match with Urszula Radwanska.
"It was good to get revenge," said Sharapova.
"My last two opponents have been some of the most physically fit girls on the Tour. It gives me confidence I can step it up when I need to, especially after losing to her a few months ago."
Poland's Radwanska will be certainly be fresh after having a third round walkover over 12th seed Li Na.