QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - American teenager Lauren Davis pulled off the first big surprise of the Bell Challenge on Wednesday afternoon, stunning Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets in the second round of the indoor tournament.
The 17-year-old Davis, who came through the qualifying here, needed just 63 minutes for a 61 61 win over the No.2-seeded Wickmayer - and her win against the No.27-ranked Belgian was the first in her career over a Top 30 player.
"I just went out there the same way I go out every match - intense and focused, no matter who the player is," Davis said. "I stayed focused and played my game and I'm really happy I was able to play so well against Yanina today.
"She has a big forehand and backhand, and a big serve too - but a lot of girls don't like the heavy spin I have, so I tried to mix that in a bit too."
Davis got another milestone - her first WTA quarterfinal, and so soon after transitioning from juniors to pros. What's her key to the transition?
"To me the biggest difference between the juniors and the pros is that if you're up in the pros, you cannot let them back in the door, because there's a good chance they'll end up beating you," Davis commented. "In the junior circuit you can probably relax a little bit and still end up winning the match.
"I'm very happy to be in my first WTA quarterfinal but I'm just trying to keep myself grounded. My goal is just to keep improving every single day."
And the American's opinion of the Québec City atmosphere? "The crowd is really nice here," she said. "Even though I played a Canadian in my first match yesterday, the people were still clapping for my good shots. And the music they play here is good - it keeps your energy up and makes playing here really fun."
It didn't take too long for an even bigger surprise, as No.1 seed Dominika Cibulkova was ousted in a first round match at night by Kirsten Flipkens, 26 63 75. Cibulkova was a game away from victory leading 5-4 in the third set, but Flipkens held, broke and held again to sneak out the Day 3 stunner.
Flipkens' win over the No.13-ranked Cibulkova was her third Top 20 win, all three coming on fast courts. The first two were over a No.15-ranked Aravane Rezai at the indoor tournament in Luxembourg in 2010 and a No.5-ranked Samantha Stosur at the grass court stop in 's-Hertogenbosch earlier this year.