Thursday was a second day of round of 16 in both the WTA 500 bett1open and WTA 250 Rothesay Open. All the quarterfinals line-up is set up for tomorrow after today's interesting settlements in Berlin and Birmingham.
Kudermetova eliminates Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka was expected to be a big favorite of the tournament in Berlin as a top seed. The Belarusian was looking forward to make up the gap in the WTA rankings to put the pressure on Iga Swiatek before the Wimbledon Championships. Despite this, she got placed in a really stacked part of a draw and faced an upset from Veronika Kudermetova, who eliminated the world's number two in straight sets match on Thursday, winning by 6-2 7-6(2).
Kudermetova has scored a massive start, as she has quickly won 4 games in a row and clinched the opening set after just 34 minutes of play. The world's number 13 has also started well in second set, moving up into a break advantage, but Sabalenka managed to level the score and force the tiebreak. However, Kudermetova was a dominant force there same as throughout whole the match and secured the quarterfinals spot by performing a big upset. The Russian was a pre-match underdog, rated with an odd 3.03. Kudermetova has surprisingly dominated Sabalenka and looked as being much better suited into Berlin's grass surface than the tournament's top seed. Sabalenka was trying to hit the ball early and fast, but Kudermetova had clearly controled the on-court events from the tactical perspective.
Ekaterina Alexandrova has proved to be in a great form on the grass, as she won her 7th consecutive match in the time of 10 days, moving into quarterfinals in Berlin just after winning the WTA 250 Libema Open. Alexandrova has played against Cori Gauff in second most interesting match-up of the day. The American who was a slight pre-match favorite related to odds, started well and moved into 3-1 lead after gaining a break in 4th game. That was the end of good performance from Gauff though, as Alexandrova has totally dominated the match since then and won 11 out of 12 following games, including the bagel in second set. It was a huge statement win from the Russian, who will play against Veronika Kudermetova in the quarters. Kudermetova will look forward to take a revenge on her fellowcountry after losing the final match between both in s'Hertogenbosch last Sunday. The higher ranked Russian was up in a scoreline, leading with a set and break in the bag, but Alexandrova fought back and sealed the title defence for her in decisive set's tiebreak. The emotions and quality are guaranteered there on Friday.
Bad ending for Niemeier
Jule Niemeier suffered a bitter afternoon, as the home crowd's favorite has needed to pull out from the match against Marketa Vondrousova in the decisive moments of second set. Vondrousova won the opening set 6-3 and had a chance take the victory in completed two sets, while having a breakpoint during Niemeier's serve in 10th game. Niemeier has cleared out this danger, but has unfortunately fell down on court during the following game, which resulted with a painful wrist injury. The German has needed to withdraw from the further play, clearly suffering with a pain. Vondrousova will play against Maria Sakkari in the quarters. The Greek has followed a good performance showed in first round's match against Alize Cornet and played a great tennis today, winning over Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a crushing score 6-2 6-1.
Top seeds prevail in Birmingham
Unlike in Berlin, the top seeds in Birmingham did well in second round of WTA 250 Rothesay Open. Jelena Ostapenko has defeated Venus Williams in the most exciting Thursday's match-up of Rothesay Open. The 2nd seed was a strong favorite ahead of the match between the Grand Slam champions and controlled the on-court events from the start by winning the opening set and being a break up in second with a chance to serve for the match. Then, the 43 years-old American has fought back with a stunning series of 6 games won in a row. Williams has defended the matchpoint in 10th game of second set and made up all the gap to forced the decider, where she moved up front with a score 2-0 by breaking her opponent to love in second game. Ostapenko has needed to regroup since then to comeback into match, which was almost closed by her a few games ago. The Latvian managed to come back into level from the opening set and started to dominated on court again. Ostapenko won 6 out of following 7 games and clinched the win with a score 6-3 5-7 6-3. Much effort was needed from the world's number 17 though, as Venus Williams is seemingly prepared very well for the grass season. The American is already sure to compete in Wimbledon Championships, as she will be awarded with a wild card into main draw.
Ostapenko will play against Magdalena Frech in the quarters. The Pole reaches out the second consecutive QF after defeating Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-7(1) 6-4. Frech was on a front foot throughout whole the match, leading in all sets. Cirstea managed to fight back in second set to force the tiebreak, where she moved the match into whole distance. It has not discouraged Frech to win in three sets after 2,5 hours of battle though. The Pole lives a good momentum, as is sure to advance into top 70 of WTA rankings for the first time in career.
Barbora Krejcikova is still yet to lose a set this week, as she performed 6-4 6-4 victory over fellowcountry Tereza Martincova. The world's number 122 was leading with a break in second set, but the tournament's top seed made up whole the gap and comfortably moved into quarterfinals. Another all-Czech clash is set up ther, as Krejcikova will play against youngster Linda Fruhvirtova.
Fourth seed Anastasia Potapova fought hard for the place in quarters, defeating Caty Mcnally in an intense three-setter. The American was leading 5-2 while being a break up, but did not manage to serve for the win. Potapova leveled the score and forced a tiebreak, where she did not give away any single point for her opponent who was so close to take the win earlier on.