Sakkari Secures Quarterfinals Spot At San Diego Open

Maria Sakkari (photo: Lexie Wanninger)

SAN DIEGO, September 14, 2023 (by Richard Osborn)

Anastasia Potapova stunned top seed Ons Jabeur on an action-packed Wednesday at the Cymbiotika San Diego Open, advancing to the quarterfinals with a straight-sets 6-4, 7-6 (4) upset.It marked the fourth Top-10 win of the year for the 27th-ranked Potapova.“I think it was my patience, just to stay focused as much as I could because Ons is very tough to play,” said Potapova, 22. “She’s truly one of the best in the world. With her style, it’s very uncomfortable for myself, but I’m really happy and proud to get this win.”Jabeur, who landed just 39 of 85 first-serves (45 percent) and finished with nine doubles faults, could never really find any rhythm in the one-hour, 46-minute matchup. But Potapova said it was still a difficult task to close out the three-time Grand Slam finalist and one of the WTA Tour’s most admired performers.“Tell me about how popular she is — my mother, she loves her so much,” she said. “Every time I talk to my mom on FaceTime with Ons around, she’s like, ‘Call Ons! She’s my best player!’ They’re actually pretty good friends. I don’t know if she’s happy that I won today.”   No. 3 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece had an easier go of it. She advanced when Colombian qualifier Camila Osorio bowed out due to a right thigh injury, winning, 6-3, 2-2 ret.“It’s always very sad and unfortunate to see any athlete, any player, being injured and not being able to compete at 100 percent,” said Sakkari. “She was playing great in that first set. I wish her a speedy recovery.”As for how she held off Osorio in the competitive opening stanza, Sakkari said, “I just stuck to my plan, my routines. I’ve been in a good mindset the last few days, so that helps me overcome those tough moments. I’m a Top-10 player for a reason. Those are the points that make the difference.”Second-seeded Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia avenged a three-set loss to Sloane Stephens suffered last month in Cincinnati, advancing to the last eight via a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over the American. In the process, the world No. 10 upped her head-to-head advantage to 5-3.

“Today was a revenge day,” said Garcia, who converted four of her seven break-point opportunities. “The beginning of the third set was really tight. I faced a break point in the first game and managed to stay in front. That was super important. The last couple of months wasn’t always great tennis, but we try to fight, we try to train hard.”Czech Barbora Krejcikova, the fourth seed, overcame eight double faults to oust Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, 6-3, 6-2, in Barnes Stadium. The wildcard snapped a post-Wimbledon skid that saw her go 0-3 without so much as winning a set.“It was really a difficult first set, even though the score doesn’t look like that. I wouldn’t really say I was in control after that, but I was just trying to hit my shots and stay aggressive,” said the 2021 Roland Garros titlist.American wildcards Sofa Kenin and Katie Volynets were facing each other on familiar turf, each having captured singles titles at the Barnes Tennis Center-hosted USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships in 2015 and 2019, respectively. It was Kenin who would emerge victorious on Day 3, storming back from a set down to defeat the Californian Volynets in one hour and 41 minutes, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.Elsewhere, American Danielle Collins was a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 winner over Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, while former University of Virginia standout and NCAA singles titlist (2021) Emma Navarro defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 7-5, 6-4.

Cymbiotika San Diego Open – Barnes Tennis Center$ 780,637September 11-16 2023Results – Wednesday, Sep 13QF – [1] B. Krejcikova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) d. E. Alexandrova / A. Sasnovich 64 61R16 – A. Danilina (KAZ) / B. Mattek-Sands (USA) d. U. Eikeri (NOR) / I. Neel (EST) 63 76(4)R16 – A. Potapova d. [1] O. Jabeur (TUN) 64 76(4)R16 – [WC] S. Kenin (USA) d. [WC] K. Volynets (USA) 16 64 62R16 – [3] M. Sakkari (GRE) d. [Q] C. Osorio (COL) 63 22 RETR16 – [Q] E. Navarro (USA) d. [Q] A. Sasnovich 75 64R16 – [7] B. Haddad Maia (BRA) d. M. Kostyuk (UKR) 75 67(3) 62R16 – [WC] [4] B. Krejcikova (CZE) d. A. Kalinina (UKR) 63 62R16 – D. Collins (USA) d. J. Ostapenko (LAT) 26 63 64R16 – [2] C. Garcia (FRA) d. S. Stephens (USA) 63 36 61