Unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek stunned No.2 seed Daria Kasatkina 6-2 2-6 6-4 to seal her first career Top 20 win and her maiden WTA quarter-final at the Moscow River Cup. She now awaits Laura Siegemund, after the German easily dismissed Kateryna Kozlova 6-0 6-3.
No.2 seed Anastasija Sevastova claimed her seventh straight win to reach the quarterfinals of the Moscow River Cup. The Bucharest champion beat the Romanian lucky loser Irina Bara 6-2 6-7(5) 6-4. Looking to extend her unbeaten streak to a career-best eight matches, she will face Alexandra Sasnovich, who beat Evgeniya Rodina 7-5 6-2, and will assure a berth in the top 40 for the first time next week.
The World No.90 won her her first WTA 125K event at the Croatia Bol Open after Roland Garros and continued to climb up the rankings as she clinched the best win of her career in a match that featured 18 breaks of serve combined.
Sevastova led 6-2 3-0 40-0 against the World No.140, but things grew overly complicated for the Latvian as Bara twice served for the match, never holding a match point however. Sevastova managed to come back from 1-5 to 5-5 in the second set tiebreak but, when she seemed to have done the most to avoid a decider, a double fault handed a golden opportunity to her opponent who sealed the second set an broke immediately to open the third.
Afteer a long medical treatment at 3-2 down in the third set, Sevastova broke completed the turnaround leading at 4-3, and her experience became the decisive factor to produce her 32nd win of the season. Throughout the match, the No.2 seed struck 39 winners to Bara's 21, and had 34 unforced errors to her opponent's 18.
She completed nine breaks from ten looks as she completed her 18th victory in 22 matches on clay as she enjoyed Enjoyed a semifinal result in Charleston in her first clay event of 2018. Then, she made the second round in Madrid and the round 16 in her second appearance in Rome, to celebrate one year since making her Top 20 debut.
She won at least one match in each tournament played on clay dating back to 2016 Rabat since the first-round exit at Roland Garros this year. In the quarter-finals, she will face Aliaksandra Sasnovich, projected to climb at least to No.37 in the world rankings next week.
Winning the title she could move to No.30 or 31 if Shuai Zhang should triumph in Nanchang. The Belarusian beat her in their lone previous meeting, in the Brisbane semifinal last January, to clinch her second WTA final and the first at Premier-level.
Coming off her best Grand Slam ever at Wimbledon, Sasnovich hadn't won back-to-back matches on clay this season so far. On this surface, she collected a second round exit in Lugano, Madrid and Roland Garros, a first-round defeat in Prague and fell in qualifying at Rome.
Laura Siegemund moved into the second straight WTA quarter-final of the season. In her easy win over Kozlova, the German managed to seal 76% of first serve points and 65% of second serve return points, saving both the break points conceded.
Siegemund opened the match with her fourth bagel in 2018 and celebrated her ninth WTA win of the year. Moving to the quarter-finals will guarantee her to come back into the top 200. Siegemund is expected to gain more than 30 spots and be ranked at around No.183 next week.