Olga Danilovic and Anastasia Potapova have been the leaders of the pack for 2001 generation ever since the junior days, battling against each other in the important matches and pairing together to win Orange Bown in 2016. Ranked around the 200th place, these 17-year-old girls have already won pro titles and they entered this week's WTA tournament in Moscow, Olga as a lucky loser and Anastasia with a wild card.
On Thursday, both players have won their second round matches to become the first players born in 2001 who have reached the quarter-final on the WTA Tour, before the generation leader Amanda Anisimova or other talented coevals.
Danilovic, who won the ITF title in Versmold two weeks ago, has defeated the 8th seed Kaia Kanepi 7-6 7-5 in an hour and 57 minutes for her biggest result on the Tour so far. The youngster fired 10 aces and she showed clutch in the pivotal moments, fending off 14 out of 17 break points and converted four break chances from 14 she created to bring the match home in straight sets.
Olga broke in the very first game of the match but Kaia got it back in game four, only to lose serve at 4-4 to let Olga serve for the set in game 10. The youngster couldn't make a hold and she had to survive no less than five set points on serve in game 12, bringing the game home after some eight deuces to set up a tie break that she won 7-3 thanks to three mini-breaks.
We saw no less than 10 break points in the second and the third games of the second set and they traded breaks in games six and seven to stay neck and neck. Olga had the edge in the closing stages of the set and the pressure was on Kanepi who saved two match points in game 10 before she lost serve in game 12 to hand the win to her rival who will now face the top seed Julia Goerges in the battle for the semi-final.
“It was a very nervous match for me as I played against a top player," Potapova said afterward. "But I said to myself ‘Whatever happens during the match, play until the end,’ which is exactly what I did! The fans were amazing.ALSO READ: 2018 US Open Wild Card Challenge: Bradley Klahn is the leader
I felt the support of each and every person in the stands. I was really touched by the amount of support and I can only say a big thank you. For me, the motivation is always about winning. I don’t feel a lot of pressure at this tournament, I just play and want to win as many matches as I can.”