Alexandrova leads surviving seeds into Strasbourg quarters

Order was maintained at the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Wednesday despite a rain-affected Wednesday, with 3rd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, the highest left in the draw advancing alongside Yulia Putinseva and Barbora Krejcikova.

“I didn’t know I had a lot of fans here, and it’s always a pleasure, especially after the difficult times of playing with no fans, and it feels amazing to have support. Yulia Putintseva

Russia’s Alexandrova ousted French wild-card Clara Burel, 6-3 6-4, in 70 minutes, while Krejcikova from the Czech Republic also defeated a French player, Caroline Garcia, in the second round, coming from a set down to eventually pull through, 3-6 6-2 6-1, in an hour and 49 minutes.

Alexandrova, the World No 33, dispatched the 20-year-old to book a spot in her 4th quarter-final of the season.

One of 5 Russians ranked in the Top 40, Alexandrova converted 6 of her 10 break points to collect the win over the World No 146, matching her career-best result at a WTA clay-court event, which came earlier this season with a run to the Stuttgart quarter-finals.

Alexandrova keeps her hopes alive to become the 3rd Russian to win the Strasbourg title, following Maria Sharapova in 2010 and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 2018.

Krejcikova, who is ranked 38, set up her quarter-final clash with Alexandrova with a convincing comeback over Garcia, who was the 2016 Strasbourg champion and runner-up in 2019, and never faced a break point in the opening frame as she swept to the one-set lead.

Then Krejcikova pulled off the same feat in the second, using exceptional winners down the line to tie it up.

The Czech fired another forehand winner down the line to break for a 2-0 lead in the decider, and charged home from there, finishing the match with 24 winners and a 4-for-5 break point conversion rate.

Two mid-match retirements saw Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann waving Putinseva, the no 4 seed from Kazakstan, through after just 2 games, and Aranxta Rus from the Netherlands prevailing when France’s Harmony Tan threw in the towel while trailing 6-2, 1-all.

Teichmann injured her left ankle, while Tan endured a right wrist injury.

“It’s always difficult because I was ready to fight and, unfortunately, it is what it is, but I am happy to go through and I wish Jil [Teichman] a fast recovery for the French Open,” Putinseva said.

The match was being played on court one and was delayed for a few hours due to heavy rain, after which Putintseva held her opening service game with no issues.

The following game tsaw the 4th seed going on the offensive, looking for the early break, and she set up 2 break points, winning a great point with a forehand down the line passing shot to break on the next point to take a 2-0 lead.

During the 3rd game Teichmann ran to get a short ball and rolled her ankle, lying on the ground for several moments before the trainer was called and got a medical timeout on the court.

After consultation she decided to retire and the Kazak had booked her spot in the next round.

Later she spoke about the raucous group of fans that had attended the match to support her.

“I thought it was pretty cool and I didn’t expect it at the beginning of the tournament being that it’s my first time in Strasbourg,” she said. “I didn’t know I had a lot of fans here, and it’s always a pleasure, especially after the difficult times of playing with no fans, and it feels amazing to have support.”

Putinseva will play 8th seed Magda Linette for a place in the semi-final, after the Pole benefitted from the retirement of Alize Cornet due to a hip injury sustained on Tuesday with the score standing at 7-6(2), 0-3.

In the quarter-finals, Rus who is now into her first WTA quarter-final since Monterrey in March of last year. will play either 7th seed Shelby Rogers from the USA or Germany’s Jule Niemeier, whose match was held over night with the score standing at 6-4, 2-1 because of rain.

Following these two losses of both Burel and Garcia, there are now no French players left in the draw.

One other pre-quarter-final has to be played on Thursday between Croatia’s Sorana Cirstea and 6th seed Shuai Zhang from China, which was not played on Wednesday because of the rain.

The winner of that match will advance to the semi-final following the withdrawal of top seed Bianca Andreescu due to an abdominal injury, who would have been their quarter-final opponent.



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