First two rounds of main draw competition in WTA 250 Hamburg European Open delivered some surprising outcomes, which results in quite an unexpected line-up of the quarterfinals, which are about to be played tomorrow. Just two out of all seeded players stayed in the contention after Wednesday's matches, but all of the quarterfinals are the exciting names, who will surely bring some great on-court emotions and good level in the fight for the biggest prizes in Hamburg's event. Local fans have something to cheer about, as three German players have surprisingly advanced into QFs.
Noma Noha Akugue (WC) vs. Martina Trevisan
Akugue is one of the hosts representatives who made it through into QFs. The current world's number 207 according to the WTA rankings, got awarded with a wild card into main draw, and used it in more than proper way. Just the 19-years old German advanced into her first ever quarterfinal in WTA level event after performing an upset over Storm Hunter. The Australian has shined in the opening round, by eliminating the top seed Donna Vekic. Start of the match between Akugue and Hunter could indicate, that the experienced Australian will easily continue her good run in Hamburg, as she has easily won the opening set, without losing any single game.
Akugue came to the fore in the second set, as she won her first games in this match and moved up into 3-1 lead. Hunter regained the momentum though, as she won 4 games in a row and stayed in front of a chance to serve for the straight sets win. The current world's number 154 was leading *5-4 40-15 and had two matchpoints, but the German saved both of them and broke back her opponent by winning 4 points in a row. Two following games ended up with another breaks, as Hunter missed another opportunity to serve for the win in 12th game and the settlement of this set moved into tiebreak, where Akugue was dominant from the start and forced a decider, winning by 7-2. The young German opened third set with an early break in first game, which occured to be decisive for the whole result. This was an intense set, which lasted more than an hour, with many tight games and multiple chances for Hunter to come back level. The Australian had 5 breakpoints, putting the pressure on Akugue's serve throughout whole the serve, but did not manage to make up the gap from the opening set. 0-6 7-6(2) 6-4 and the biggest success in the career after getting a bagel in the opening set is today's big achievement of the German.
Martina Trevisan lives a difficult season so far, as the Italian approached Hamburg after 5 consecutive loses and a significant drop in the ranking. The current world's number 76 who was ranked in the areas of top 20 at the start of the season, is well known as a top notch clay court specialist. Despite this, the Italian won just 4 out of 10 matches on clay before entering the event in Hamburg. The things go much better for Trevisan in Germany, as she advanced into quarters without losing a set and gave away just 5 single games in both matches against Elvina Kalieva and Camila Osorio. The win over the Colombian is especially valuable, as the odds were against Trevisan, who was rated by 2.37 before the match. Trevisan showed a great performance though and eliminated Osorio with a dominant score 6-1 6-3.
Bernarda Pera (3) vs. Diana Shnaider
The American is the highest ranked player who advanced into quarters. After quite an erratic performance in the opening round against the qualifier Zeynep Sonmez, where she fought the victory despite committing 57 unforced errors, Pera secured her QF spot by defeating Kaia Kanepi. The 3rd seed played much better in second round, and eliminated the experienced Estonian in straights, winning by 7-6(6) 6-1. Diana Shnaider will be her next opponent. The 19 years-old advanced into her first WTA level quarterfinal in 2023. Shnaider prevailed against her fellowcountry Polina Kudermetova in the match with momentum switching between both sides, winning by 6-0 4-6 6-1. The world's number 101 was a pre-match favorite against tournament's 5th seed Julia Grabher in second round and made the job done well by winning 6-4 6-2.
Jule Niemeier (WC) vs. Daria Saville (Q)
Niemeier is second German wild card receiver, who benefited from the trust of the organisers. The world's number 106 fought out her place in QFs by enduring two tough three-setters. After the battle against another WC - Ella Seidel, Niemeier had to take up the challenge in form of a match against the 6th seed - Yulia Putintseva. The Kazakh was a pre-match favorite with an odd 1.62 and prevailed in the opening set with a score 7-5. Putintseva was in a good position after start of second set, as she broke her opponent in the opening game, but Niemeier did not give up and bounced back to force a decider by winning 6-3. Putintseva has dropped the ball massively in third set, as her serving performance has just stopped to work well, and the Kazakh lost all of her service games in a decider. Niemeier raised up her level in a brilliant way, as he has quickly built up a massive gap, being a super dominant force after start of the set. The German was hitting really well and capitalized on the slump of her opponent, winning 20 out of first 25 points in this set. 5-7 6-3 6-1 is the final score.
Daria Saville reminds the fans of her great skills, as she advances into her first quarterfinal after coming back from the long injury break. It took 9 months for the Australian to come back into the competing field, but she has seemingly clicked the gear back again, moving into QFs in an impressive style. After performing the notable upset over the in-form Jasmine Paolini in the opening round, Saville followed the blow to earn another straight sets win. This time, the Australian has defeated Tamara Korpatsch by 7-6(6) 6-2. The first set was a great highlight, as it took 99 minutes with some really long games in the making and 17 breakpoints created on both sides in general. After winning an intense tiebreak despite being 0-3 down in there, Saville has controlled the course of second set to achieve the first great result in 2023.
Arantxa Rus (7) vs. Eva Lys
The Dutch writes her success story in 2023, as she lives her best time in the career. The 32 years-old is on the way to improve her career's best ranking position (60th), which was achieved more than 10 years ago, in 2012 year. The redemption of Rus is reflected in her superb winning series on clay surface. Rus approached last week's Palermo Ladies Open with 15 consecutive wins under her belt, but came up short in first round to the eventual runner-up, Jasmine Paolini. This has not distracted the Dutch too much, as she earned the advance into quarters in Hamburg after two difficult matches against in-form players. After defeating last week's Hungarian Grand Prix champion - Maria Andreeva, Rus has defeated the semifinalist from the same tournament - Nadia Podoroska, winning by 6-3 3-6 7-5 in a super tight three-setter, ended up after 2:45 hours of fight. It's 23th win out of last 25 matches on clay for Rus, who has also achieved three consecutive titles during that run by winning two ITFs and one WTA 125 challenger on the road.
Eva Lys has impressed the local fans by defeating the second seed Mayar Sherif in the opening round, where the German defeated her favorized opponent in crushing style, giving away just two games. The world's number 167 capitalized on a good start and scored another comprehensive win, defeating Panna Udvardy with a routine score 6-4 6-1.