Women’s Quarterfinals (Almost) Set in Washington
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Simona Halep played in scorching heat and scorched her opponent today, Marina Duque-Marino in three sets to advance to the quarterfinals of the Citi Open in Washington, DC. After dropping the first set 6-3, she controlled the match after that en route to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win. It was the kind of win that let you know that Halep is miles above the competition at this WTA International-level event.
She’ll face her toughest challenge tomorrow in the form of Ekaterina Makarova for a spot in the semifinals. It was a tough draw for Makarova and had she not landed in the top half, Makarova vs. Halep would have had Washington final written all over it.
#2 seed Kiki Mladenovic will not be able to join the quarter finalists after being shocked by 17-year-old Bianca Andreescu 6-2, 6-3 in 76 minutes. Mladenovic appeared worn out by the heat and never gave Andreescu a fight until the last couple of games, by which time the Canadian’s confidence was high and she closed out Mladenovic. This was her first win against a top 20 opponent. Andreescu will go up against Andrea Petkovic tomorrow.
Petkovic was a winner in three sets over Genie Bouchard 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. Bouchard was unable to build on yesterday’s win, her first at Citi Open in five
There’s clearly been a Romanian theme this week in Washington, with even the Canadian quarter finalist of Romanian descent. It was fitting that today’s round of 16 matched forced two compatriots against each other in Patricia Maria Tig and Monica Niculescu. The higher ranked Niculescu pulled through in two very close sets by a score of 6-4, 7-6(2). Niculescu squares off against Julia Goerges, who won last night.
The Lisicki-Sabalenka match is till in progress due to a rain delay with Sabalenka up a break over Sabine 5-3. The winner of that one will face Oceane Dodin. Dodin is now the favorite to play Halep in the semis on Saturday.