Wild Wednesday in Washington Whittles the Citi Open Field
Steve Fogleman in Washington
If you like upsets, you’d have loved Wednesday in Washington. The Citi Open has been full of surprises and the midweek edition of the tournament found many players on the outside looking in at what could have been.
First up was Emil Ruusuvuori, the scourge of English spell-checkers everywhere. #46 in the world as the tournament began, he shocked #2 seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 7-6(3).
“The first set, I wasn’t returning that well, but at the end of the first set, I was making first serves and that helped me,” he said after the win. The win set him up with a match against Mikael Ymer for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Ymer crashed the party of 15 seed Aslan Karatsev with a turnaround three set victory, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win on Grandstand court and earned a date with the cutest little kid dressed as Andre Agassi for Halloween. I mean Emil Ruusuvuori.
Yoshihoto Nishikori looked out of gas after his two set victory in the first round but the plucky Japanese player stuck around long enough to empty the tank of 11 seed Alex De Minaur 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2. He’ll face 7 seed Karen Khachanov at noon and I wouldn’t look past Yoshi if I were De Minaur.
Simona Halep was forced to retire with heat related illness, and Daria Saville upset #1 seed Jessica Pegula, 7-5, 6-4. “You know, I felt like it was really, really important to win the first set,” Saville said. “I thought that, like, for me it would have been really hard to be composed in the second set if I lost the first set. I would have been like, Oh, my God, this is a struggle here.”
Her struggle and Halep’s departure opens a massive hole in the top half of the women’s draw. One of Either Saville, Anna Kalinskaya, Kaia Kanepi or qualifier Rebecca Marino will find themselves in the final this Sunday.
As we head to Quarterfinals Friday, there are four scheduled women’s singles matches to determine the four remaining quarters berths today, and eight matches to whittle the men’s field down to size.