JURMALA, Lativa - Top seed Anastasija Sevastova flew the flag of the home country into the quarterfinals of the Baltic Open, but not without a scare.
The Latvian No.1 and World No.11 survived a stern challenge from Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic in the second round on Wednesday, as she came from a set down and won the last three games to advance to the last eight, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4.
"Dalila is really a great player. It was a tough, but I was fighting myself...for everybody here," Sevastova said after the match. "I feel great that it's over. I was fighting until the end."
Sevastova had three set points in the opening set, in which she trailed 4-1 but ralled to win four games in a row to serve for a one-set lead, but the Slovenian World No.147 had other ideas for an upset bid.
Jakupovic broke Sevastova in a key 10th game, and won seven of the last nine points of the ensuing tiebreak to wrestle control of the match, and later found herself up a break in the decider after trailing 3-1.
However, the Slovenian dropped serve in a long eighth game, and though she seemed primed to level the decider from 0-30 down on serve in the 10th, Sevastova erased her game point chance to hold and ultimately came through the match in two hours and 16 minutes.
— WTA (@WTA) July 24, 2019
Though Sevastova managed to come through a stern challenge, the same could not be said for No.2 seed Caroline Garcia, who was beaten by compatriot Chloe Paquet, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The 25-year-old Frenchwoman was 0-3 against her heralded compatriot entering the match, including 0-2 on clay, and had never won a set previously.
However, Paquet turned around a 6-4, 4-2 deficit to secure the upset against Garcia, who was a point away from falling to Kristyna Pliskova in the first round, to advance to a quarterfinal meeting against Poland's Katarzyna Kawa.
"To play against Garcia was hard, because she is a top player. I fought until the end," Paquet said.
"I am so happy to win this match. I think I won, because I was not afraid and I tried to be calm. This was our fourth match, and it was the first time I won. Before the match I was saying to myself, 'It is Latvia, Jurmala, maybe something is gonna change,' and it did."
Kawa, a qualifier, and Bucharest finalist Patricia Maria Tig rounded out the slate of players to advance to the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Kawa beat wildcard Jana Fett, the first-round conquerer of No.7 seed Tatjana Maria, 6-3, 6-0, while Tig beat Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina, 6-4, 6-4.