Wednesday was packed with action in both this week's WTA level tournaments. Both the WTA 500 bett1open and WTA 250 Rothesay Open were naggled by rain conditions in the opening days, which cause some of the first round matches needed to be rescheduled for today. Despite this, we've got known the first quarterfinalists of events in Berlin and Birmingham.
Vekic upsets Rybakina
The match against Elena Rybakina and Donna Vekic was definitely expected to be a highlight of this day, despite some other interesting match-ups worth to look for. Rybakina starts her grass season from the bett1open, while Vekic got surprisingly eliminated by Viktorija Golubic in second round of last week's WTA 250 Rothesay Classic in Nottingham. The reigning Wimbledon champion was rated as a strong pre-match favorite with an odd 1.22. Rybakina started the match from winning the opening set in tiebreak. The Kazakh was not a dominant force throughout whole the set, as both players were holding their serves and it was Vekic, who was looking optically more dangerous on the return. Despite this, Rybakina has dominated the tiebreak and won it 7-1.
The world's number 3 has not followed the blow, as Vekic raised up her level and did not give too many chances for any open play since the start of second set. Rybakina was not effective on return and quite more vulnerable than her opponent during own service games. Vekic has won the second set by one break and did the same in decider, not allowing the pre-match favorite to create any single breakpoint during last two sets. It's a great performance from Vekic, as despite a poor performance in the opening's set tiebreak, she did not allow Rybakina to gain any single break in whole the match, which is quite rare in such a brilliant season played by the Kazakh.
Elina Avanesyan sets up the quarterfinal match against Vekic. Avanesyan performs another great main draw run as a lucky loser just after the same story happened in Roland Garros. The world's number 81 has defeated her fellowcountry Anna Blinkova in three sets. Blinkova won the opening one in a dominant style, giving away just one game in 23 minutes of play, but Avanesyan fought back to secure the QF spot with a score 1-6 6-3 6-2.
Kvitova and Garcia move on
Petra Kvitova and Caroline Garcia set up a great pairing in quarterfinals of bett1open. The double Wimbledon champion has followed a good performance in opening match against Karolina Pliskova, and gained another victory over Nadia Podoroska, moving through the quarters with a crushing score 6-1 6-1 after just 50 minutes of play. Kvitova will play against 3rd seeded Caroline Garcia in quarters. It's the first time since March, when Garcia wins two consecutive singles matches in WTA tournament. The French has defeated Jaimee Fourlis, winning over the qualifier from Australia with a score 6-3 6-2.
Sakkari takes the revenge
Maria Sakkari got paired with Alize Cornet in second back-to-back week, just after losing to the French in Birmingham, where the Greek was seeded with number one. Sakkari has seemingly drew some conclusions from the last week's lacklustre performance and took the successful revenge on Cornet in Berlin, earning a comfortable win in the rescheduled match of the opening round with a score 6-4 6-2. The 6th seed of the bett1open will face Aliaksandra Sasnovich in second round. The Belarusian continues a good start of grass season after reaching out the semis in WTA 250 Libema Open. Sasnovich has defeated her titled fellowcountry Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-4. It's quite a miserable period of the season for Azarenka, who lost 7 out of last 10 matches.
The seeds drop out in Birmingham
The second round of WTA 250 Rothesay Open has started today with three matches, which have all ended up with an upset over the seeded player. Linda Fruhvirtova continues a great run in Birmingham. The young Czech, who has beaten Elena Svitolina 6-2 6-0 in the opening round, scored another win on grass by defeating 6th seeded Bernarda Pera. The opening set has looked simmilar to the match against the Ukrainian, as Fruhvirtova has closed the clock after just 22 minutes with a score 6-1. The second one has also started with an early break for the Czech, but the world's number 27 has found something in her game and started the comeback, winning 4 games in a row. The break advantage was not enough to force a deciding set though, as Fruhvirtova regrouped after this and broke back. Second set was settled in tiebreak, where the 18 years-old youngster has won 7-3 and secured the spot in quarterfinals.
Harriet Dart is the last standing Brit in the draw and did not disappoint the home fans, moving through the quarters after the victory over Anhelina Kalinina. The 5th seeded Ukrainian was a slight pre-match favorite related to odds, but both the players shared two sets between them and Dart occured to be a dominant force in a decider, securing the second consecutive WTA quarterfinal appearance with a score 6-3 3-6 6-1.
Magda Linette will not remember this week's appearance in Birmingham as a successful one, as the third seed of Rothesay Open has managed to win just 3 games against Lin Zhu in second round of Rothesay Open. The Chinese was a dominant force throughout whole the match and was a very effective player on this day, converting all of the 5 breakpoints. Linette has not create any single one and continues her average period on tour, as the world's number 20 has not won two consecutive matches for 3 months right now. The Chinese plays a great week so far in Birmingham, moving into quarterfinals by performing two notable upsets in a row with both wins got accomplished in straight sets. Zhu was rated as an underdog ahead of the opening match against Katie Boulter with an odd 4.04, and performed a win over Linette while being rated 2.66 before the match. It's a really good season for Zhu so far, as she advances into her 4th quarterfinal in 2023.