Silicon Valley Classic: Elise Mertens, Elena Rybakina's triumphant starts in San Jose



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Silicon Valley Classic: Elise Mertens, Elena Rybakina's triumphant starts in San Jose

Top seed Elise Mertens moved into the quarter-finals of the Silicon Valley Classic on Thursday. The Belgian won her opening-round match against France’s Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes. Mertens hit 38 winners across the match.

Post-match, speaking with the media about the match, Mertens added, “It was a very physical match. I didn't really find my rhythm well today... sometimes it doesn't come easy. I think in the second set, she started to feel the ball a little bit better with less mistakes.

It's just important to win the last ball and to keep fighting as I did today. I'm just pleased that I got through this one”. For a place in the semi-finals, Mertens will now play Yulia Putintseva. The Kazakh, seeded eighth, notched a comeback win over Ajla Tomljanovic.

After two hours and 31 minutes of play, Putintseva clinched a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over the Australian.

Silicon Valley Classic: Elena Rybakina finishes strong

Putintseva lost her serve just twice in the match and had 33 winners, 13 more than her opponent’s tally of 20.

Speaking about her performance after her win, Putintseva said, “I just was keeping in mind that I had to stay there, be there every point. In the first set, I didn't start so well and felt like my ball was flying a little bit.

I managed to stay lower to the ground and just be a little bit more patient, use a little bit more angles, and I think it worked well. In the third set, I was feeling great and was able to bring my level a little bit higher and that's what gave me the lead”.

In the last eight, Putintseva was joined by her compatriot, Elena Rybakina. The tournament second seed also claimed a comeback win of her own against American Claire Liu. Rybakina needed an hour and 35 minutes to post a 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory.

Rybakina will face another American for a spot in the Silicon Valley Classic semi-finals in the seventh-seeded Danielle Collins. Collins came from a set down in her second-round derby against Sloane Stephens in the final match of the day.

After two hours and 10 minutes of play, Collins won 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to claim her seventh win on the trot, going back to her title run at the Palermo Ladies Open, a couple of weeks ago.