Charleston Open: Aryna Sabalenka, Paula Badosa advance into pre-quarters



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Charleston Open: Aryna Sabalenka, Paula Badosa advance into pre-quarters

Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa, the highest seeds at the Charleston Open made their way into the round-of-16 after winning their respective openers on Wednesday. Sabalenka, seeded no. 1 this week, clinched a straight sets’, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Alison Riske in 109 minutes.

Sabalenka built up initial leads across both sets but struggled to hold on to them at the time of asking. She needed six set points in the first set and in the second, wasn’t able serve out the match in the eighth game before wrapping up the proceedings in the 10th game.

In the third round, Sabalenka will play 15th seed, Amanda Anisimova. The American defeated Yulia Putintseva in their round-of-32 clash, 6-1, 6-2 in just 69 minutes. Meanwhile, the second-seeded Badosa, completed a 6-1, 6-4 win over Anna Bondar.

Badosa needed 95 minutes to wrap up the win. Badosa converted four break points on the Hungarian’s serve while conceding her serve once in the match. For a place in the quarter-finals, the Spaniard will play Claire Liu.

The American upset the 16th seed Shuai Zhang, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. Ajla Tomljanovic, the 14th seed also lost in the second round. Earlier, the Australian had to take to the court twice after her first-round match against American qualifier, Sophie Chang got suspended on Tuesday due to rain.

Tomljanovic won her opener 7-5, 6-4 but lost to Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 6-3. Begu will take on either fourth seed Ons Jabeur or Emma Navarro. The fourth-seeded Tunisian was leading Navarro 6-3, 5-2 when their match had to be suspended.

Charleston Open: Madison Keys, Jessica Pegula continue winning

Third seed Karolina Pliskova, whose Tuesday’s second-round match was postponed to Wednesday also clinched a win to reach the round-of-16. The Czech came from a set down to post a 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 win over Katarina Zavatska in two hours and 48 minutes.

Pliskova will play Ekaterina Alexandrova next. Alexandrova reached the third round after a 2-6, 7-5, 5-2(Retd.) win over Qinwen Zheng. Sixth seed Jessica Pegula also booked a place in the round-of-16 with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jasmine Paolini.

Pegula will now take on fellow countrywoman, Coco Vandeweghe. Vandeweghe came through a second-round American derby against Lauren Davies, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Elena Rybakina, seeded fifth lost in the second round to Anhelina Kalinina.

The Ukrainian won 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 and will take on 12th seed Alize Cornet. The Frenchwoman beat Hailey Baptiste, 6-3, 6-2 in their second-round encounter. Ninth seed Madison Keys also moved into the third round of the Charleston Open with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Ulrikke Eikeri.

Keys will play 10th seed Belinda Bencic next. Bencic won against Linda Fruhvirtova, 6-1, 7-6(6). Lastly, Kaia Kanepi also reached the third round. The Estonian beat Magdalena Frech, 7-5, 6-3 and now awaits either seventh seed Leylah Fernandez or Magda Linette in the third round.