Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Marketa Vondrousova (10)
The first of quarterfinals is a clash between two most recent Grand Slam champions, as the winner of Roland Garros 2023 meets the champ of Wimbledon 2023 just two weeks before the start of US Open. The Pole approached Cincinnati without a pressure of losing the world's ranking leader spot and showed up way better than in the last week's tournament in Montreal so far. Swiatek has started playing from second round, where she had set up an interesting match-up against Danielle Collins. After the last three-sets battle between both in Montreal, the extent of Swiatek's on-court domination and the final score was quite surprising, as she gave no chance for the American, winning by 6-1 6-0. This has boosted up the confidence ahead of next match against Qinwen Zheng, but the Chinese has unexpectedly won the opening set by 6-3. Swiatek bounced back in style though, as she gave away just 2 games to her opponent, moving into quarters with a score 3-6 6-1 6-1.
Marketa Vondrousova appeared in Cincinnati just after quite a miserable show-up in Montreal, where she won just one match, playing against Caroline Wozniacki. This week, the new Grand Slam champion performs way better, as she advanced into QFs without losing a set so far in matches against Katerina Siniakova, Anastasia Potapova and Sloane Stephens. It's the first quarterfinal appearance on the WTA 1000 level for Vondrousova in 2023.
It's a really good week for Czech players, as 3 of them made it through QFs and at least one will advance into semis. Karolina Muchova has worked hard for her quarterfinal spot, as all her matches this week were intense three-sets battles. The opening match against Beatriz Haddad Maia took as long as 2:50 hours, where the recent Roland Garros runner-up occured to be better with a score 6-7(3) 6-1 6-4. Petra Martic has also caused some problems for Muchova, who needed 2,5 hours to move into round of 16 with a score 6-3 3-6 6-3. The Czech had set up a clash against Maria Sakkari, which had not a clear favorite and also went for a whole distance with Muchova winning by 6-3 2-6 6-3.
Marie Bouzkova is quite a sensational quarterfinalist, as she defeated last week's champion from Montreal and world's number three - Jessica Pegula in a round of 16. Bouzkova was rated with an odd 3.78 and achieved her best success of this season so far in a shockingly easy manner, eliminating Pegula by 6-4 6-0. It's a first quarterfinal of WTA tournament for Bouzkova, who had a really miserable season under her belt so far. Before the start of tournament in Cincinnati, Bouzkova has won just 8 out of 19 matches played on hard courts in 2023.
Jasmine Paolini vs. Cori Gauff (7)
The Italian is the only one qualifier out of all the quarterfinalists. Since losing the opening set in her first qualifying match against Rebeka Masarova, Paolini scored a series of 8 sets wins in a row to find a place in round of 16. The highlight of this road was a win over Marta Kostyuk with a crushing score 6-2 6-1 despite Paolini not being a favorite in this match-up. The odds were also against the current world's number 43 before a match against Elena Rybakina. The Kazakh was a clear favorite and started as expected by winning opening set with a score 6-4. The things have changed in second set, as Rybakina started to struggle with her shoulder, which was also a factor in previous week's tournament in Montreal. Paolini capitalized on those circumstances to take an initiative in second set, which got not completed, as Rybakina withdrew within a score 6-4 2-5 from her perspective. This has gifted Paolini a sensational advance into QF, where she faces Cori Gauff - the only American who still stays in contention in Cincinnati at this point. Gauff played two matches so far while getting a bye in opening round and her performance was impressive so far. The 7th seed scored two confident wins, not giving away more than 4 games to both her opponents - Mayar Sherif defeated by 6-2 6-2 and Linda Noskova eliminated with a score 6-4 6-0.
Ons Jabeur (5) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2)
The rematch for Wimbledon's semifinal, where Jabeur came back from being a set and break down to secure the spot in a final. The Tunisian denied Sabalenka from becoming the world's ranking leader, as the Belarusian was just two games away from this achievement, needing just to hold the serve while being in a driver's seat to finish this big match in straight sets. Jabeur did not succeed in a final against Marketa Vondrousova though, despite being a big favorite on paper. The Tunisian came back to competition in Cincinnati after a few weeks of break since Wimbledon. The tournament's 5th seed started her Cincy campaign from a super tough and shaky match against Anhelina Kalinina. Jabeur won the opening set and stayed in front of a chance to serve for the win in shaky second set, but Kalinina forced a decider after a tiebreak. The Ukrainian was leading 5-1 in third set, being close to perform a notable upset and her biggest success since advancing into final in WTA 1000 Rome, 3 months ago. This has not happened though, as Jabeur came back with a series of 5 games won in a row. Kalinina had not even create any single matchpoint despite serving for the match two times, and Jabeur has finally won it after a decisive tiebreak, where she also was a dominant force. The next match against Donna Vekic was a much different story, as the Croatian pulled out after just 7 games due to injury issues.
Sabalenka had suprisingly need to put much effort into overcoming her first opponent Ann Li. The world's number two was a banker pre-match favorite, but needed three sets to deny an upset, winning by 7-5 2-6 6-4, showing a performance which was much less convincing than her standards from the previous part of hard courts season. The Belarusian played much better in a clash against Daria Kasatkina. Sabalenka scored a routine 6-3 6-3 win in a match, which was interrupted by rain conditions. The hosts will surely hope, that the weekend's matches will not be interrupted by weather, which heavily disrupted Monday's schedule and was also a serious issue for the players in last week's tournament in Montreal.