Victoria Azarenka and Jessica Pegula will play each for a place in the Bett1 Open semi-final after extending their dominance over Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova in the second round. The Belarusian topped the German 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 22 minutes.
In the second set, Azarenka came from 1-3 and 3-5 down to win her 10th match against her fellow former world no. 1. Speaking with the press after her win, Azarenka said, “I always really enjoy our battles. I always know that it's going to be a battle, no matter what and I prepare myself for that - there is a certain preparation and motivation going into matches like that”.
Then, talking about her comeback in the second set, she added, “(In the second set) I feel like I was coming back to what was working for me – some of the points I was falling off and not playing aggressive.
Once I knew that I was stepping up a bit more consistently”. Pegula, meanwhile, defeated Pliskova for the fourth time in their fourth meeting this season. The American won 7-5, 6-2 in an hour and 15 minutes. The Czech was let down by her errors and even had to concede the opening set after missing a shot wide on set point.
Bett1 Open: Liudmila Samsonova, Garbine Muguruza win
At the top of the draw, Liudmila Samsonova won the Russian derby against Veronika Kudermetova. The qualifier won 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 20 minutes. Samsonova broke Kudermetova’s serve twice in the match and didn’t face a single break point.
Following this win, the 106th-ranked Samsonova will break into the top-100 of the WTA ranking for the first time. Lastly, sixth seed Garbine Muguruza also advanced to the last eight at the Bett1 Open. The Spaniard needed an hour and 42 minutes to beat Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-3. In the quarter-final, the Muguruza will play Alize Cornet.