Wednesday was full of action in the venue of Credit One Charleston open, as 13 singles matches has emerged the line up for today's Round of 16. The main contenders were looking really strong there, while some matches delivered a good taste of plot twists and emotions as well.
The day started with an interesting match-up between Paula Badosa and Leylah Fernandez. The Spaniard beared the pressure of the pre-match favourite, defeating the US Open 2021 runner-up in 7-5 7-6(6). The match started better for Fernandez, who earned the early break and won all the three opening games. Badosa found her rythm a bit later, leveling the score and gaining the decisive break in 11th game. Former world's number has seemingly clicked the gear, as she followed the good play from end of first set later on. Badosa broke Fernandez again in the opening game of second set, which was an intense battle ended up after 6 deuces and 4 breakpoints created by the Spaniard. Fernandez was struggling during her following service games, but defended 3 breakpoints to stay in the contention. Badosa was still ahead with one break advantage, but lost it in 8th game, losing it to love. The set needed to be settled in tiebreak. First four points ended with minibreaks, but both players were moving head to head since then till the score 5-5. The Canadian took the advantage there, earning the setpoint, but lost both of her service points and gave her opponent a chance to close the match after a tight set which took more than an hour.
"We always have battles. She plays so fast, she does not give me time. She was playing unbelievable, especially at the start. In the last games of the second set she started to go on the lines again. At the beginning I was not expecting that she could start that well. I thought that I need serve very well and go for the shots before her. I started to be a little more aggressive, and it worked." - said Badosa in her post-match interview.
Badosa will play against Diana Shnaider in next round. The 19 years-old Russian made a big upset on her fellowcountry Veronika Kudermetova by winning 6-4 6-3. Kudermetova was the only seed to fail on Wednesday, despite being a confident pre-match favorite with an odd 1.29. Despite losing in straight set with quite a straightforward score, the world's number 13 was on the front foot in both sets after earning the early advantage. Kudermetova was leading 4-2 in first set and could be even up with a double-break, but did not convert two breakpoints in 5th game. Shnaider turned this set over by winning 4 games in a row. Second set started well for Kudermetova again, who was leading 3-2 with a break advantage, but Shnaider scored another series of 4 games in a row on her tally, upsetting the older of Russians.
The other favorites had no issues to advance into round of 16. The current title holder - Belinda Bencic, defeated Katerine Sebov 6-0 6-3 in her first match during the Charleston title defence campaign. Madison Keys has also gave away just 3 games to Hailey Baptiste, winning 6-2 6-1. Jessica Pegula opened her Charleston campaign as a top seed, giving no chance for Anna Blinkova. The world's number three scored an impressive win 6-2 6-0 after just 65 minutes of play. Pegula faced just one breakpoint throughout the whole match, while creating 10 during the opponent's serve. The top ranked American will face Irina Camelia Begu in round of 16. The Romanian, seeded with 15, has stopped the run of Sofia Kenin with a confident win 6-1 6-4.
Wednesday's action in Charleston delivered three interesting all-distance battles. Caroline Dolehide defeated Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2 5-7 6-3 despite the young Czech being a pre-match favorite with an odd 1.57. The match started well for the American with a dominant win in first set. Fruhvirtova was leading with a double-break advantage in second one, but did not manage to close this set. Dolehide leveled the score, but this time the Czech has stayed in the match, regaining the advantage in decisive games of a set. Decisive set started well for Dolehide, who was dominating her opponent with a 5-1 lead. Fruhvirtova was trying to come back, but just one break back was not enough to got eliminated by Dolehide who produced as many as 18 breakpoints and managed to break her opponent 10 times.
Shelby Rogers continues her wonderful time in Charleston. The world's number 44 followed the Tuesday's victory over Danielle Collins by defeating another fellowcountry Caty Mcnally. Rogers was a clear pre-match favorite with an odd 1.32, but it was more than close for the upset being made by the younger of Americans. The opening set was ended up in tiebreak after just two breaks in general. Rogers struggles in tiebreaks a lot this year, as it was her 6th lose in 6 decisive games playing in 2023 so far. McNally was the player who put more pressure in second set. Rogers needed to defend 3 breakpoints in 6th game, but did not manage to clear the danger in another service game, losing it to love. McNally was on the straight road to win this match while serving for the match within a score 5-3. The world's number 71 did not held her nerves tough, allowing her more experienced opponent to gain a break back and stay alive in this match. It was a true redemption of Rogers, who was just not playing well until this moment, which turned the match over for her favour. The South Carolina native won 6 games in a row, taking the second set from hands of McNally with a score 7-5 and moving into the lead in decisive set, starting it with an early break. McNally did not manage to regroup from that, dropping the level against Rogers who raised up her game and won the third set in a dominant style, moving into next round with a score 6-7(4) 7-5 6-1. Belinda Bencic will be next rival for the favorite of local fans.
Magda Linette started her first clay tournament as a world's top 20 player with a win over Varvara Gracheva, fought after almost 3 hours of intense battle, ended up with a score 6-7(3) 7-5 6-4 for the favour of the Pole. The match had no certain favorite before the start, and opening set confirmed that it will be close and tight contest. The set was won by Gracheva after the tie-break. The Russian took a break lead twice during the set, but Linette prevailed to clear the gap and force the 13th game, where Gracheva occured to be better with a score 7-3. Second set started better for Linette who was leading with a break since opening game, but Gracheva leveled the score in 8th game. Linette was under pressure while being a set down and tried to tip the scales on her favor. The Pole had 2 breakpoints in 9th game, but despite not converting any of it, succeded in 11th game to move up into the lead and serve out the win in this set later on with a score 7-5.
The decisive set delivered a few close games, but the only one break happened in 7th game, with Linette taking the lead after quite a service game from Gracheva, who got broken to 15. Last two games of the match were super intense. Linette had a chance to break once again in 9th game, having two matchpoints, but not converting any of it. The victory could slip out of the Pole's hands, as she was also in trouble during 10th game, while serving for the match. Linette cleared two breakpoints and won this tight game after 4 deuces, after utilizing 3rd of the matchpoints. The world's number 19 sets up the very intriguing match-up against Madison Keys in the round of 16.