QUEBEC CITY, Canada -- No.2 seed Petra Martic of Croatia swiftly moved past Olga Govortsova of Belarus, 6-0, 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Coupe Banque Nationale présentée par IGA on Thursday.
World No.38 Martic has dropped only four games in her first two matches in Quebec City, and has now won seven straight matches: she captured her first WTA singles title of any kind at the WTA 125K Oracle Challenger Series event in Chicago last week.
"I’m really happy that I’m maintaining my level, and that I’m getting through matches without many complications," Martic told the media, following her win. "I really feel like I’m on a good roll, and I just want to keep on going like this."
Thursday's 68-minute win was Martic's first over Govortsova; the Belarusian had won their only prior meeting, way back in 2009 in Linz. Martic claimed the victory in Quebec by staving off all of the eight break points she faced, and winning more than half of Govortsova's service points. Former World No.35 Govortsova, currently ranked No.550, is returning to tennis after giving birth to her first child.
In the final eight, 27-year-old Martic will take on American qualifier Jessica Pegula. Pegula took out Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in the second round earlier on Thursday, by the scoreline of 7-6(3), 6-4. Martic won her two previous matches against Pegula.
"I saw [Pegula] play today, I’m sure it’s going to be tough," said Martic. "She likes fast surfaces. It’s going to be challenging."
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Martic was unstoppable in the 25-minute first set, winning 13 of 16 first serve points, slamming two aces, and saving the two break points attained by Govortsova, which both came in the Croatian's first service game of the match.
Martic used her strong serve to frustrate Govortsova into return errors en route to 4-0, while Govortsova double faulted to hand over another service game and a 5-0 lead. The Belarusian did save one set point in the next game and push Martic to deuce, but the second seed took the one-set lead two points later after a forehand error by Govortsova.
The second set was more complicated, as Govortsova finally got on the scoreboard in the opening game, and Martic had to save one break point in the next game with a deft lob before holding for 1-1.
Some sublime backhand work from Martic allowed her to break Govortsova in the Belarusian’s next two service games, with one shot off of that wing dribbling over the netcord to clinch the second break for a 4-1 lead. The Croatian then demonstrated exceptional steeliness to fend off four break points in the next game and hold for 5-1.
Govortsova continued to fight, ramping up the power on her forehand to erase four match points on her serve at 5-1, and force Martic to serve out the match in the following game. There, an errant drop shot gave Govortsova another break point, but it was squandered, and eventually a successful forehand pass gave Martic the win on her fifth match point.