STARNBERG/LINZ, November 12, 2020
The top two seeds of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz are through to the quarterfinals and will lead Friday’s line-up at the TipsArena Linz.
World No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka eased past Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-0, 6-3 in her second-round match on Thursday. The 22-year-old Belarusian saved all nine break points she faced and capitalized on four of her six own break-point chances to advance in one hour and seven minutes.
“I’m really happy with the win today and that I was able stay focused from the first game. No matter what, I was doing my best every point,” Sabalenka said.
“She started to play more aggressively in the second set, using more power. I wasn’t as ready for that, but I adjusted very quickly and that helped me to win the match.”
This week, in addition to chasing after her third trophy of the season, the Minsk native has a chance at cracking the Top 10. Sabalenka has finished each of the past two years ranked No. 11 in the WTA Rankings. When she was asked during her post-match interview what she would prefer, to finish in the Top 10 or winning the title, she responded quickly: “To win the title!”
Up next for Sabalenka will be French qualifier Oceane Dodin, who defeated Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes.
Mertens overcomes Zvonareva
Later in the evening, World No. 21 Elise Mertens battled past two-time Grand Slam runner-up Vera Zvonareva of Russia, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2. The No. 2 seed from Belgium won 52 per cent of the total points played to prevail after two hours and 32 minutes.
— wta (@WTA) November 12, 2020
“I expected tough matches. They all can play tennis. That’s why I was maybe mentally prepared for a third set. I played much better then, more aggressively,” said Mertens, who will next take on No. 5 seed Veronika Kudermetova. The 23-year-old Russian edged out Arantxa Rus from the Netherlands, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in one hour and 42 minutes.
“She is a really hard hitter with a good serve,” Mertens said of her upcoming opponent in the stage of the final eight and added: “So, I have to set up my game again. Then we will see.”
In other action, Nadia Podoroska fought past 2018 Linz champion Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4. The No. 6 seed from Argentina outpointed her opponent 115-112 after two hours and 32 minutes.
“Camila is a great player, and she plays really fast,” Podoroska said. “She can run around the court very fast too, so it’s hard to get her out of position. She has a lot of power, so I knew I had to go after her and not let her take the initiative or let her get comfortable. I had to take so many risks, a lot more than I’m used to, but I knew that was the right way.
“The first set was really high-level, it could have gone either way. The second, I think I got myself together well because I had really lost my calm and my order. In the third, I felt much more comfortable playing first-strike tennis and I had gotten used to that fast pace, and I could keep up my patterns.”
Podoroska will oppose fourth favourite Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia in the quarterfinals.