The women caught up from previous rain-delayed matches on Wednesday at the French Open, where world No. 1 Serena Williams sent a short, curt message, and some hot-handed unseeded players from this year’s claycourt run showed they are not yet finished.
Williams was the lone American survivor of four U.S. competitors in play on Wednesday. The younger Williams sister punished No. 18-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-1 to move into the quarterfinals where tomorrow she will face unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who upended No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 7-5.
“I have actually played [Putintseva] a couple of times, and most recently in Indian Wells,” Williams said. “You know, she’s a tough player. She’s really hungry. I feel like she gives 200 percent on every single point.”
Putintseva said she was just happy to get on the court against Suarez Navarro.
“I have been waiting for like two or three days for my fourth-round match,” she said. “Of course it was getting nervous and all this stuff because of the weather. I had to change my hotel, as well, because my reservation finished. But I’m happy that in the end the wait was worth it.”
The other three Americans in action were all sent home as No. 8-seeded Swiss Timea Bacsinszky defeated No. 9 Venus Williams 6-2, 6-4, and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens upset No. 15 Madison Keys 7-6(4), 6-3, in fourth-round play, and No. 4 Garbine Muguruza ended the run of unseeded Shelby Rogers 7-5, 6-3 in a quarterfinal match.
Bacsinszky is into the quarterfinals without dropping a set, beating Williams in what many speculate might be the American former No. 1s last appearance at Roland Garros.
“Being in a quarterfinal in a Slam is like every player’s dream,” Bacsinszky said. “Like some have achieved it way more times than others, but for me it’s my third. I still sometimes cannot believe it, especially if you have a great win on such a good player…[Venus is] definitely an inspiration, because if you see how long she is lasting as a tennis player it’s something unbelievable. Even if she’s struggling with health issues she’s there, she’s super nice with everyone, she’s kind, and she’s a great tennis player for so many years. So that’s why to be able to win this match, my first win over Venus is, well, it’s just amazing.”
Bacsinszky will next face Bertens who is riding an 11-match winning streak after toppling the big-hitting Keys. The young American’s woes of failing in the late rounds of Slams continued in Paris, losing out on a big opportunity to make her breakthrough.
Muguruza, into her first French Open semis, will next meet former runner-up and No. 21 seed Sam Stosur, who on Wednesday defeated unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 7-6(6).
On court Thursday at Roland Garros will be (1) Serena Williams vs. Yulia Putintseva, and (8) Timea Bacsinszky vs. Kiki Bertens.
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