Third seed Serena Williams and fourth seed Naomi Osaka are the highest seeds left in the Western & Southern Open women’s draw. On Monday, Williams reached the round-of-16 with a three-set win over Arantxa Rus. Greece’s Maria Sakkari is the 23-time Slam champion’s third-round opponent.
The 13th seed won against Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 7-6(9) in the second round. Osaka, too, had a tough outing against Czech opponent Karolina Muchova. The Japanese dropped the opening set in the tie-break before regrouping to win the match 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 33 minutes.
Post-match, the two-time Major champion underlined that attitude was the key in the match. She said, “I think the difference [between winning and losing] was probably attitude. It kind of boils down to attitude, because for me I feel like I'm more open-minded when I'm calm, so maybe if I was upset I wouldn't have been able to apply the things that I knew I was doing wrong”.
Sixteenth seed Dayana Yastremska is Osaka’s pre-quarter-final opponent. The Ukrainian came through in her second-round clash against the US’ Bernarda Pera in a three-setter as well. After two hours and seven minutes of play, Yastremska won 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3.
Western & Southern Open: Notable upsets set-up third-round matches' promise
Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka will play Jessica Pegula in the pre-quarter-finals. The Belarusian defeated qualifier Cici Bellis 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 20 minutes.
In the American derby between Pegula and Amanda Anisimova, the former won 7-5, 6-2. Sabalenka’s compatriot Victoria Azarenka moved past Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia in their second-round match. Azarenka, whose first win of the season had come in the previous round of the tournament against Donna Vekic, triumphed in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(8) in an hour and 49 minutes.
In the round-of-16, the former W&S Open titlist will play another French player, Alize Cornet. Flipkens’ fellow Belgian, 14th seed Elise Mertens advanced ahead into the third round. The world no. 22, however, went the distance in her round-of-32 clash against Kristina Mladenovic before claiming a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 win.
Mertens will play Veronika Kudermetova in the pre-quarters. Eighth seed Johanna Konta will face Vera Zvonareva in the third round. The Briton dropped just two games in her clash against Belgian qualifier Kristen Flipkens, winning 6-2, 6-0 in merely 63 minutes.
The Russian, too, dropped the same number of games against Laura Siegemund, coming through 6-1, 6-1 in 69 minutes. In the Czech clash between sixth seed Petra Kvitova and Marie Bouzkova, the youngster upset the two-time former Wimbledon champion.
Bouzkova lost the opening set 2-6 but recovered her game and ground to finish off with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory in two hours and 25 minutes. Bouzkova will play 12th seed Anett Kontaveit who defeated Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-4. The last third-round clash at the Western & Southern Open has been set up between Ons Jabeur and Christina McHale.
The American beat Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1, 7-6(8). Lastly, to cap off the last match of the day, the Tunisian sent defending champion and seventh seed Madison Keys out of the event in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. Photo Credit: Western & Southern Open Twitter