Stephens Topples Garcia At Cincinnati Masters, Wozniacki Out, Jabeur Survives; Swiatek v Collins, Pegula, Gauff Wed.

by Staff | August 16th, 2023, 1:12 am
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In a mild upset, American Grand Slam winner Sloane Stephens sent out defending champion Caroline Garcia in the Frenchwoman’s opener 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round at the Cincinnati Masters.

Garcia won the title last year as a qualifier and had two wins over Stephens in Cincinnati.

“I felt like I played really well, I’d say consistent, but honestly there’s nothing better than playing in the U.S. in front of an American crowd,” Stephens said to the WTA. “It was incredible having an incredible audience and atmosphere. I’m really pleased with how I played and getting the win tonight.”

Fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur escaped all sorts of trouble getting through Anhelina Kalinina in a match that went the distance 6-3, 6-7(2-7), 7-6(7-2).

Jabeur was in control serving for the match at 6-3, 5-4 when the tables turned. Suddenly, Kalinina forced a third and went up 5-1. But the Ukraine failed to serve it out twice and the 3-time Slam finalist came back for the win.

“Very happy with the win,” Jabeur told the WTA. “It was very tough, but I’m glad that I kept fighting, kept playing point by point, and I’m glad that I got the win in the end.

“Some situations that I went through during this match definitely helped get me back into the hard-court season,” she added. “I will try to keep going, keep playing more matches. The more matches I play, the better.”

The 9th-seeded Petra Kvitova, a finalist last year, dismissed 24-year-old Anna Blinkova of Russia 7-6(7-2), 6-0.

Elsewhere on a long Tuesday, Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova ousted countrywoman Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 6-4. Former champion Victoria Azarenka knocked out the 11th-seeded Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 7-5.

Czech 18-year-old Linda Noskova toppled Canadian finalist Liudmila Samsonova 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. The 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina overwhelmed NCAA champion Peyton Stearns 6-2, 6-1.

Cristina Bucsa shocked 13th-seeded Belinda Bencic i4-6, 6-3, 6-2. French finalist Karolina Muchova upended French semifinalist Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7(3-7), 6-1, 6-4. Jelena Ostapenko got over on Karolina Pliskova 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

In the finale of the day, former champion Madison Keys was bounced in three by Elise Mertens 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

It was a tough day for the comeback queens. Donna Vekic of Croatia handled Jennifer Brady 7-6(7-5), 7-5. And Russian lucky loser Varvara Gracheva, who filled in for an injured Elina Svitolina, sent off former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4.

Wednesday’s line-up includes second round play led by No. 1 Iga Swiatek who will meet Danielle Collins. Swiatek is ahead of Collins 3-1 in their tour-level collisions with a tough win last week in three sets in Canada.

No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka battles Ann Li. Sabalenka was the victor in their only previous collision at the 2021 Australian Open.

Canadian Open winner Jessica Pegula faces Martina Trevisan. Pegula leads 2-0.

No. 4 Elena Rybakina gets Ostapenko, No. 7 Coco Gauff opens against Mayar Sherif, No. 8 Maria Sakkari tests Sorana Cirstea, Kvitova will meet Noskova and Venus Williams faces Qinwen Zheng.

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