Wednesday's action on courts in Texas emerged the line-up of quarterfinalists from the top half of main draw in inaugural edition of ATX Open.
Katie Volynets performed an amazing win against Anastasia Potapova, coming back from being 0-5 down in the deciding set and defending the matchpoint for her opponent. The American did the almost impossible comeback against the highest tournament's seed who stayed in the contest after first round. Potapova, ranked #28 in WTA list, was a confident pre-match favorite with an average odd 1.30. The match itself was not the most beautiful tennis spectacle, as both players were suffering on some vulnerabilities throughout the course, switching the momentum between themselves, presenting quite shaky performance. The opening set brought 7 breaks in general and it was won by Potapova after the decisive break in 12th game. Pre-match favorite has not capitalized on it, as she started the second set from getting broken twice by Volynets and the American forced the tiebreak by winning the set 6-2.
The decisive set started from another momentum switch, as Potapova gained the advantage quickly by breaking Volynets in 2nd and 4th game, moving up to the 5-0 lead. The Russian had an opportunity to close the match with a bagel, while producing a matchpoint on Volynets's serve in 6th game. Potapova played the return too wide and Volynets stayed alive in match after forcing the error of her opponent in the rally which ended up this game with a big hold for the American. The crowd was cheering for her, as the local player avoided losing the decisive set to love, but barely one could expect, that it's the start of the biggest comeback of the year. Potapova was seemingly still under control, being 5-1 30-0 up during her own serve. However, the Russian started to miss almost every ball since then, making the horrendous amount of unforced errors, which gave the wings for Volynets who progressed with making up the gap quickly. She moved from saving the matchpoint to being practically just one break down in the time of just a few minutes. The American continued her strike, instantly winning game after another since then, leveling the score and moving into the lead while crushing her opponent who has definitely lost any control of this match. Potapova managed to take away just 5 single points in the last 6 games of the match, which ended up with a stunning comeback victory of Volynets, who won it 5-7 6-2 7-5 eventually.
Post-match statistics reflected the image of whole play, while Potapova made as many as 63 unforced errors comparing to just 18 winners. Volynets had negative ratio as well, but it was "just" 28 unforced errors in compare to 10 winners. Huge story for the American though, as the world's number 92 advances to the quarterfinal, where she will face her fellowcountry, Peyton Stearns.
Stearns follows the blow after achieving her career's maiden victory in WTA competition. The 2022 NCAA champion turned out to be better in the duel against Mirjam Bjorklund, achieving her first ever WTA quarterfinal after the straight sets win 6-3 7-5. The American was down a break after the start of both sets, but overplayed her opponent throughout whole the match and earned the deserved victory, lining up the all-American quarterfinal against Volynets.
Sloane Stephens continues her come back to scoring regular victories. The 2017 US Open champion, who has not won any single match since last week's WTA 250 in Merida, advances into quarters in two back-to-back weeks. The world's number 51 defeated Heather Watson 6-4 6-4. Stephens was leading 4-0 in second set, but the Brit managed to level the score. This time, no comeback happened, as the American regained her advantage with another break on her side and closed the match on her favor.
Varvara Gracheva will be the opponent of Stephens in Friday's QF. The world's number 88 who has already eliminated tournament's top seed Magda Linette in first round, turned out to be better in the duel against her fellowcountry Anna Blinkova. Gracheva won in three sets 6-3 6-7(5) 6-1, but could close it earlier, while serving for the match with a score 5-4 in second set. Blinkova managed to come back from this score and force the decider, but Gracheva dominated in last set, winning it in just 24 minutes.