Cleveland | Garcia and Fernandez advance to quarters

Top seed Caroline Garcia advanced to the quarter-finals at the Tennis In The Land WTA 250 tournament in Cleveland on Tuesday, where she was joined by Leylah Fernandez and two Chinese qualifiers, Lin Xhu and Xinyu Wang.

With a 2022 US Open semi-final to defend, Garcia is looking to bolster her points with a solid run in Cleveland and the Frenchwoman ably saw off 21-year old American Peyton Stearns, 7-6(4) 6-3, to set up a Last 8 meeting with Zhu, who dispatched Austria’s Julia Grabher, 6-4 6-1.

Garcia won in an hour and 37 minutes, saving a set point in a poor opening set, but sealing it in just over the hour, and then breezing through the second.

The tournament has seen plethora of withdrawals and retirements, and Clara Tauson added her name to the list when the Dane pulled out of her Last 16 match with Fernandez, sending the Canadian into the quarters after losing 6-0.

After struggling for much of 2023, Fernandez is finding some success this month on the hard court swing after her ranking tumbled to No 72 this year after reaching a career-high of 13 in 2022.

After winning 2 matches in a row earlier this month at her hometown National Bank Open in Montréal, the 2019 US Open finalists awaits the winner of the match between 5th-seeded Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine and Germany’s Tatjana Maria on Wednesday.

In the last 1st-round match, Maria, the champion last week at the Barranquilla WTA 125 event, extended her winning streak to 6 matches with a 3-set defeat of Varvara Gracheva, 6-2 2-6 6-1, on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Wang upset 11th-seeded Jasmine Paolini from Italy, 6-4 6-3, and the Chinese will meet either Ekaterina Alexandrova, the 4th seed, or qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich, both Russians, who play on Wednesday.

Sloane Stephens, the American 9th seed, will be seeking a Last 8 berth against 16-year old Mirra Andreeva, while No 3 seed Veronika Kudermetova takes on Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, a lucky loser, also on Wednesday, to complete the quarter-final line-up for Thursday.



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