Seeds went 50/50 in Bucharest today. Ninth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova lost to qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in two and a half hours. Dulgheru is a former top 30 player who has struggled with injuries throughout her career. Her two WTA titles come from a clay court tournament in Warsaw, POL, so seeing her results in Bucharest are not that surprising. Fifth seed Elise Mertens also went out today. The Belgian lost to Pauline Parmentier of France 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in another two hour plus match. Tatjana Maria, the eighth seed had the quickest match of the day. Her opponent Nadia Podoroska had to retire down 1-4 in the first set. Irina Begu ended the run of compatriot and wildcard Jaqueline Cristian, the seventh seed won commandingly 6-4, 6-0. The only doubles match of the day saw No.2 seeds Mertens and Demi Schuurs defeat Alexandra Cadantu and Danka Kovinic 7-6(7-0), 6-0. Seeded players in Gstaad had much better results, although top seeded Caroline Garcia lost. Having reached the quarterfinals at the French Open, and her first fourth round at Wimbledon, Garcia was the heavy favorite for this title. However, clay court tennis is about consistency and mentally preparing yourself to slug it out. Garcia’s opponent, Tereza Martincova never had a top 20 win until today; Martincova is also ranked 120 spots below Garcia. Despite 11 aces and 64% of first serve points won by Garcia, Martincova was still somehow able to come up with her best tennis when it mattered most. Second seed Kiki Bertens and fifth seed Johanna Larsson were able to make it through to the quarterfinals. Bertens hit seven aces, won 80% of first serve points, and broke 4 out of 4 times in her 6-4, 6-2 win over qualifier Anna Zaja. Larsson was made to work for her win. The Swede saved 9 out of 13 break point chances from her opponent, Barbara Haas. On the flip side, Haas could only save 2 out of 7 chances. Ultimately, Larsson prevailed 1-6, 7-5, 6-1.
At the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, two singles matches were played. Qualifier Mattew Ebden kept his run going with a three set victory over Tobias Kamke. The match last two hours and 41 mins., with Ebden winning 117 points to 116 won by Kamke. In the other singles match, defending champion Ivo Karlovic went to out Peter Gojowczyk. Gojowczyk was able to withstand 30 aces from the defending champ, actually winning less points in his 7-6(7-5), 6-7(1-7), 7-6(7-4) victory. Gojowczyk keeps his head-to-head spotless against Karlovic. In Bastad, #NextGenATP player and fifth seed Karen Khachanov was able to escape the always dangerous Ernest Gulbis. Surviving 16 aces and an 82% first serve points won from Gublis, Khachanov slugged out a 4-6, 7-6(8-6), 6-3 victory. Each player only broke the other once, but with a higher first serve percentage being the deciding factor, Khachanov was able to win more points on his first serve. Former top 10 player Fernando Verdasco moved on into the quarterfinals with a deliberate 6-3, 6-2 win over Facundo Bagnis. Defending champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas was able to win today as well. The Spaniard beat Thiago Monteiro of Brazil 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Ramos-Vinolas broke three times, and won an outstanding 60% on second serve points. Ninth seed Horacio Zeballos was the only seed to fall in Bastad. With 14 aces, Zeballos was still no match for Alexander Dolgopolov, losing 6-4, 6-4. Mikael and Elias Ymer, both #NextGenATP players, won through to the doubles semifinals today, taking out No.2 seeds David Marrero and Nenad Zimonjic 7-5, 7-6(7-3). Over in Umag, defending champion Fabio Fognini recovered from a second set mental lapse to eventually win 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 over Nicolas Kicker. Second seed Gael Monfils was not able to tough it out like Fognini. The Frenchman went out to Rogerio Dutra-Silva of Brazil 7-6(7-5), 4-6, 6-3. Lucky loser and #NextGenATP player Andrey Rublev made his way into the quarterfinals with a solid 7-6(7-5), 7-5 victory over Andrej Martin. Alessandro Giannessi took the final spot in the quarterfinals, battling for two hours to get past Kenny De Schepper 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
At the $60,000 USTA challenger in Stockton, CA, fourth seed and former junior standout Sofia Kenin progressed to the quarterfinals. Ohio State sophomore and NCAA doubles champion Francesca Di Lorenzo also got to the quarterfinals with a 7-6(7-5), 6-4 over Usue Arconada. At an ATP challenger in Astana, KAZ two talented South Korean players, Lee Duck-Hee and Kwon Soon-Woo advanced to the quarterfinals. Lots of tennis going on this week. Hopefully it is cooler in those places than it is here. Thanks again for the read, until tomorrow.