Four Germans made it into the 2nd-round of the Hamburg European Open, the WTA 250 clay court tournament in Northern Germany, but only 3 advanced to the quarter-finals – Jule Niemeier, Eva Lys and wild-card Noma Noha Akugue, who joined Bernarda Pera, the last seed standing in the draw.
Niemeier posted 48 winners to Yulia Putintseva’s 8, as she rallied out to a 5-7 6-3 6-1 upset win over the 6th seed from Kazakstan to reach the Last 8 in her homeland, her first WTA quarter-final since Cluj-Napoca in 2022.
The German had to come from a set and a break down to defeat Putintseva in 2 hours and 36 minutes to advance, winning 77% of her first-serve points and 40% off her second-serve, while she also won 69% of points on returning Putintseva’s second delivery.
Niemeier, ranked 103 in the world, who converted 7 break points on her opponent’s serve while saving 5 of the 9 break points she faced, will next face Daria Saville.
The Australian defeated Niemeier’s compatriot, Tamara Korpatsch, 7-6(6) 6-2, in their 2nd-round encounter.
Saville saved a set point in a bruising first set against the German on her way to reaching her first quarter-final since returning from an ACL injury in June.
Lys, who dispatched 2nd-seeded Mayar Sherif from Egypt in her opener, continued her impressive form by beating Hungary’s Panna Udvardy, 6-3 6-1, with little difficulty.
Next up for the 21-year old German, who is ranked 166, is 7th seed Arantxa Rus, from the Netherlands.
Rus dropped the middle set before outpacing Argentine Nadia Podoroska, 6-3 3-6 7-5, to reach her first tour-level quarter-final since Rabat 2022.
It was also the Dutchwoman’s 23rd victory in her previous 26 matches at all levels..
The 3rd home player to make it into the quarters is 19-year old Noha Akugue, who bounced back to up-end Australia’s Storm Hunter, 0-6 7-6(2) 6-4, playing in the main draw of a WTA tournament for the first time in her career this week.
The wild-card saved 2 match points as Hunter served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
Both players had converted 3 break points each on the other’s serve before Noha Akugue levelled the match after winning the tiebreak.
In the deciding set, Hunter won 72% of her first-serve points to the German’s 64%, but Hoha Akuque won 10 of 15 points on return on the Australian’s second serve, while winning 55% of her second-serve points.
The set had just the one break, of Hunter’s serve, while Hoha Akugue saved all the 5 break points she faced.