Swiatek, Sabalenka Advance While Pegula, Rybakina Fall At Cincinnati Masters

by Staff | August 18th, 2023, 12:22 am
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Half the Top 4 fell at the Cincinnati Masters on Thursday. In third round play, the top seeded Iga Swiatek rallied from a set down to defeat the 20-year-old Qinwen Zheng 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Swiatek, ranked No. 1, hit three doubles, 9/29 (31%) on second serves, was seven of 10 on break chances, faced 7 break chances.

“I always feel like I just need to focus on myself and what I want to do on court,” Swiatek said. “The tactics obviously is important, but it’s the second most important thing because the best thing I can do is just kind of play my game and focus on adjusting my game so I can play the best in these conditions. That’s what I’m gonna do.”

Swiatek will now face Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova. The Czech ousted American Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-3.

Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka kept pace ousting No. 14 seed Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-3. Rain played havoc in the second but the Belarussian got through. She’ll meet 3-time Slam finalist Ons Jabeur who had an easy day with a 5-2 win over Donna Vekic. Vekic retired during a rain delay.

Elena Rybakina also retired in the second set down 6-4, 2-5 to Jasmine Paolini. Coco Gauff is next for Paolini. Gauff breezed past fellow teen Linda Noskova 6-4, 6-0. There were nine breaks in the first set alone!

“We were breaking each other a lot in the first set and I just told myself to hit the serve as hard as you can in the second set,” Gauff said to the WTA. “It worked out.”

Marie Bouzkova stunned No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula in straights 6-4, 6-0. Pegula, who won the Canadian Masters, had little left for the Czech.

Bouzkova won the final 7 games of the contest for her 10th career Top 10 win, 5th Top 5 win.

Up next for Bouzkova will be countrywoman Karolina Muchova who won in three sets over No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

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