QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - Momentum is a powerful force, and Anna Tatishvili has certainly been showing that in recent weeks. Fresh off a fourth round run at the US Open, her first venture into the second week of a Grand Slam, the young Georgian has moved through to another WTA quarterfinal less than 500 miles away this week in Québec, the International-level Bell Challenge.
Having never been beyond the second round of a Grand Slam, Tatishvili made it all the way to the 16s of this year's US Open before falling to World No.1 Victoria Azarenka - the result propelled her from No.73 to No.52 in the world on the new rankings, shattering her previous career-high ranking of No.69.
Now the 22-year-old has won another pair of matches to reach the fourth WTA quarterfinal of her career, following quarterfinal results at Prague in 2010 and Baku in 2011 and a semifinal showing at Budapest earlier this season.
On Thursday she used some solid returning against Petra Martic, breaking serve seven times to beat the No.7-seeded Croat in straight sets, 62 63.
"I stayed focused throughout the whole match," Tatishvili said. "Consistency made the difference today. I was more patient from the baseline. She was serving very well, so I was trying to get the returns back as much as I could. And in the rallies my goal was to not rush the point. I fought every point."
Tatishvili also talked about her run in Flushing Meadows. "The US Open was great for me - I enjoyed it a lot," she said. "I beat some very good players there and then of course played Vika, No.1 in the world, which was good experience for me to play against someone at the very highest level in the sport."
She has also reassessed her goals after that breakthrough run. "Before, my goal was to be Top 50 by the end of the year. But now I'm No.52, and I think I'll be Top 50 after my win today, so hopefully now I'll finish around Top 40, Top 30, somewhere around there. But above everything I just want to keep playing consistently week to week - not one tournament good and one tournament bad."
Like Tatishvili, Martic also reached her first Grand Slam second week this year - a fourth round finish at the French Open, where she fell to Angelique Kerber. But the time since that run hasn't been that rosy - she didn't play a single match between Wimbledon and the US Open because of an injured left foot.
"I got injured in Paris - it was a tear and it became inflamed and swollen," Martic said. "I'm happy to be healthy again but I'm not on the level I'd like to be.
"It's disappointing to play the way I did today. I was making a lot of mistakes. I just get so insecure and make errors, and it's hard against a player like Anna, who is very steady, fighting like a lion and not giving away one free point.
"But it's just the way it is right now, and I'll have to get through it."
Awaiting Tatishvili in the quarterfinals will be another unseeded player, Kirsten Flipkens, who followed up her Wednesday night upset of No.1 seed Dominika Cibulkova with a hard-fought 67(2) 62 64 win over Mirjana Lucic, out-acing the big-serving Croat 12-3 in a two-hour, 13-minute battle on center court.
The night session originally featured a Canadian 1-2, but neither would make it through. First up was No.4 seed Aleksandra Wozniak against Melanie Oudin, but Wozniak had to pull out before the match due to a right shoulder injury. "I injured my shoulder during my warm-up this evening," Wozniak said. "I will have an MRI in the morning to see exactly what is wrong. I apologize to all my fans who came out to see me play tonight and to the Bell Challenge, which always does a great job and treats me so well here in Québec.
"I look forward to coming back and playing here again next year."