Varvara Gracheva ousted Sloane Stephens in their quarter-final match at the ATX Open on Friday. Gracheva won 7-6(4), 6-3 in an hour and 51 minutes against the fifth seed. Both players’ points won off second serves hovered in the 40s.
Gracheva won 45% of her second-serve points to Stephens’ 41%. But the world no. 88 won 75% of her first-serve points to Stephens’ 58%. Gracheva saved three of the six break points she faced while converting six of 11 break points that she had on the former world no.
ATX Open: A contest between last two seeds lies ahead
Looking to reach the semi-finals, the 22-year-old Gracheva will take on another American Katie Volynets. The 21-year-old defeated Peyton Stearns in their last-eight, all-American clash, 7-5, 6-3.
Volynets needed an hour and 44 minutes to wrap up the match. Both players won 53% of their respective first-serve points. But Volynets won 39% of her second-serve points to Stearns’ 22%. She also saved nine of the 14 break points she faced while converting eight break points on her opponent’s serve.
Speaking after the win, Volynets said, “I was able to do a good job to get leads in both sets, and then I didn’t execute how I wanted to. I think it was important that I gave myself a lot of opportunities, so that helped me to close”.
This win also marked a career first semi-final for Volynets while for Stearns, she won the first two matches on the WTA Main Tour of her career this week in the event. Eighth seed Marta Kostyuk also clinched a place in the quarters with a 7-6(6), 6-2 win over Anna-Lena Friedsam.
The Ukrainian took an hour and 50 minutes to get the win. Kostyuk’s semi-final opponent at the ATX Open will be Danielle Collins. The fourth-seeded American was the only player who had to get through her quarter-finals in three sets. Collins came from a set down against Anna Kalinskaya to prevail 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 after an hour and 47 minutes.