Another top ten exit highlights last 16 results in Rome
There are only two WTA Top ten players left in the draw for the Italian Open after Jelena Ostapenko eliminated Daria Kasatkina on Monday in Rome.
With a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory against Kasatkina, former Roland Garros winner Ostapenko advanced to the quarterfinals in Rome for the third time in her career.
Ostapenko, the No 20 seed in the Eternal City, had reached the final eight in 2018 and 2021, and this week she added a Top 10 triumph over Kasatkina to her previous round Top 15 win over WTA No13 and tenth seed Barbora Krejcikova.
Ostapenko improved her career head-to-head advantage against Kasatkina to 5-2 in little under 2 hours, although Friday’s victory was her first on clay over Kasatkina at the tour level.
In the opening set, Ostapenko battled back from a break down twice, at 1-0 and 4-3. However, after winning three straight games to take the first set, the Latvian dropped serve in a tremendous five-deuce game to start the second set, and she would surrender the frame to the top Russian.
Kasatkina saved four break points in a six-deuce second game of the second set and three more in another six-deuce eighth game in a nearly hour-long middle set. Neither player was willing to softly surrender the match though and the battle continued into a third set which Ostapenko completely dominated.
Earlier Anhelina Kalinina beat an American for the third time in a row to reach her second WTA 1000 quarter-final.
“I think it was just about playing point by point,” Kalinina said afterward. “It sounds very usual, but I think it was the key, because Madison started today unbelievably.
“I almost didn’t have any chances in the first set, because it was really sort of a fast, aggressive game from her. … I was like, ‘OK, you have to do something, you have to try to play more balls, to reach more points,’ so the game would become more dynamic.”
Zheng Qinwen also reached the second WTA 1000 quarterfinal of her career after triumphing 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 over Chinese compatriot Wang Xiyu in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
She was relieved to get beyond a player who knows her well.
“After I went up a break in the second set, I had a lot of chances to hold my serve but I couldn’t make it,” Zheng said.
“I was really nervous because I wanted that game, I really wanted to get the win. She was playing good at the end of the second set and I couldn’t do anything.
“At the start of the third set I just said to myself, ‘Start playing your game and we’ll see what happens. Don’t focus too much on the result.’
“I’m still trying to find my game here. The serve isn’t as strong as before so I have to adapt my game a little bit, be more consistent from the baseline.”
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Italian Open results
Elena Rybakina (KAZ x7) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-3, 6-3
Veronika Kudermetova (x11) bt Marie Bouzkova (CZE x27) 6-2, 6-2
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA x12) bt Maria Camila Osorio (COL) 6-3, 6-3
Zheng Qinwen (CHN x22) bt Wang Xiyu (CHN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Anhelina Kalinina (UKR x30) bt Madison Keys (USA x19) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
Jelena Ostapenkoa (LAT x20) bt Daria Kasatkina (x8) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0
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