WTA Roundup | Quarter-finals set in Strasbourg and Rabat

The WTA 250 Internationaux de Strasbourg advanced to the quarter-final stages on Wednesday, with wins for Marketa Vondrousova, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins, the top 3 seeds, amongst others, but defending champion Elina Svitolina was upset by Clara Burel in a rematch of last year’s semi-final.

Top-seeded Vondrousova took a late wild-card into the tournament, and breezed through the final two sets against Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech after dropping the first, the Czech World No 6 sealing her spot in the quarters, 5-7 6-1 6-0.

The left-hander will face Anhelina Kalinina, who found her way past French hope Fiona Ferro, 6-3 3-6 6-0, to make her 3rd WTA quarter-final of the year.

The Ukrainian has fallen down the rankings down towards the Top 60 after failing to defend her final run in Rome, but still poses a substantial threat to Vondrousova on the clay.

Haddad Maia, the 2nd seed from Brazil, who reached the semi-final in Paris but is not winning as much at the moment after her breakout year, started the day seeing off American Emma Navarro, 6-4 7-6(1), while Collins, seeded 3, cruised past Katerina Siniakova, 6-1 6-2, in just 64 minutes in the late match.

Collins broke Siniakova 4 times, and faced only 4 break points in the match, all of which came during a critical game at 2-1 in the second set.

Having got herself out of that jam, Collins raced home from there, improving her head-to-head against Siniakova to 3-1.

Clara Burel (R) upset Elina Svitolina, the defending champion, in 3 sets in Strasbourg on Wednesday afternoon

© Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Meanwhile, French hope Clara Burel stunned Svitolina, the 7th seed from Ukraine, 7-6(1) 4-6 6-1, in their 2nd-round encounter on Wednesday afternoon.

Burel, currently ranked a career-high World No 43, took 2 hours and 15 minutes to post the home-soil upset, avenging her 3-set loss to Svitolina the previous year.

A former top-ranked junior, Burel continues to frequently challenge the top players in 2024.

The 23-year-old Frenchwoman ousted World No 5 Jessica Pegula at this year’s Australian Open for her first career Top 20 win, and she nearly defeated No 3 Coco Gauff at Indian Wells.

Burel’s second career Top 20 win ends Svitolina’s winning streak at Strasbourg, the World No 17 having won 9 matches in a row at the tournament, clinching the title in each of her last two appearances, in 2020 and 2023.

On Wednesday, Burel held a set point at 5-4 in the first set, but Svitolina held on, then broke the Frenchwoman to love to lead 6-5.

Svitolina, though, could not serve out the set, and Burel rolled through the tiebreak to take the one-set lead after 56 minutes.

Burel’s first double-fault of the day came when she was down a set point in the second, and, with that, Svitolina tied up the match at a set apiece, but the Frenchwoman dominated the forecourt through the decider, sweeping to victory in front of an excited home crowd.

For a place in the semi-final Burel must face another Top 20 player in Collins, who is one of the in-form players on tour, despite announcing in January her pending retirement at the end of this season.

The World No 12 has won 20 of her last 22 matches, starting that stretch with back-to-back titles at Miami and Charleston, while her only two losses in that run have come to World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka at Madrid and Rome.

No 2 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, another leftie, saw off Emma Navarro in 2 tight sets to make the quarter-finals in Strasbourg, France

© Johannes Simon/Getty Images

In the lower half of the draw, Haddad Maia takes on Liudmila Samsonova, the 5th seed from Russia, who needed 3 sets to get past Canadian Leylah Fernandez on Tuesday.

The winner of this quarter-final will face off against Magda Linette or Madison Keys in the semi-finals.

Poland’s Linette saw off Ekaterina Alexandrova in a poor loss for the Russian, who was defeated 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6, while Keys, the American 4th seed, continued her great form with a convincing 7-5 6-0 win over China’s Wang Xinyu in just over an hour and 20 minutes.

Sara Sorribes Tormo, the 3rd seed at the Grand Prix Son Altesse Royale La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat, is now the favourite for the title

© Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Elsewhere, in Rabat, the WTA 250 Grand Prix Son Altesse Royale La Princesse Lalla Meryem, which lost both its top seeds, China’s Yuan Yue and Anna Blinkova from Russia, on Monday, sees Sara Sorribes Tormo take up the mantel as the new favourite for the title.

The Spanish No 3 seed had to fight hard and long against Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska before winning through, 7-5 3-6 6-3, on Tuesday in just under 3 hours of play to reach the Last 8 where she takes on Mayar Sherif .

The Egyptian reached her first tour-level quarter-final of 2024 after defeating another Argentine, Maria Lourdes Carle, 6-3 6-2, after an hour and 21 minutes on Wednesday.

Germany’s Laura Siegemund, who upset 2nd-seeded Blinkova on Monday, reached her 3rd tour-level quarter-final of this season with a 6-4 6-4 win over Camila Osorio from Colombia, also on Wednesday.

Siegemund will meet Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova, who got past China’s Wang Yufan, 7-6(4) 6-0.

Camilla Rosatello, though, the 28-year-old Italian qualifier ranked World No 294 who shocked top-seeded Yuan in the opening round, ended her run when she retired against Kamilla Rakhimova with the score standing at 4-0 in favour of the Russian.

It was the second match in a row that Rakhimova advanced as a result of her opponent’s retirement, having seen America’s Taylor Townsend pull out after just 2 games in their opener on Sunday.

Rakhimova now meets another Italian, Elisabetta Cocciarretto, in the Last 8, after the 7th seed dispatched Zhuoxuan Bai from China, 6-4 6-2.

The 4th quarter-final will be contested between America’s Peyton Stearns and 4th-seeded Lucia Bronzetti.

Stearns upset Wang Xiyu, the 6th seed from China, 6-3 6-1, while Bronzetti took out her fellow Italian Martina Trevisan, 6-2 6-3.



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