LEXINGTON, KY, USA - Jil Teichmann pulled off a dominant performance to upset No.5 seed Yulia Putintseva in straight sets and reach the quarterfinals at the Top Seed Open presented by Bluegrass Orthopaedics.
She chose to make her debut on the hardcourts of Lexington with an eye on the rankings as the tour returned to play following the five-month break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I won both Palermo and Prague last year, and with this ranking system I couldn’t earn any more points there. It would be more like a prize money tournament not an actual tournament for me,” Teichmann said in her post-match press conference. “So I’m very lucky that this new tournament in Lexington came up, and now I have the chance to earn both prize money and as well to earn points for my ranking.”
The move paid off as Teichmann eased past Putintseva in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 in just under an hour and a half to book her first quarterfinal of the year.
“I didn’t put any expectations for myself, I’m just really happy to be back and get a chance to play,” Teichmann said. “I’m just taking it match by match, and I’m looking to keep getting better day by day. And it’s working out so I’m really happy.”
Teichmann took control of a see-saw first set that started with both players trading breaks, winning two games a piece as Teichmann jumped out to a 2-0 lead and Putintseva fighting her way back level. The Swiss player continued to apply the pressure, and was rewarded with another break of serve to lead 4-2.
The No.5-seeded Kazakh had three break opportunities to get them back on serve in the next game, but Teichmann held firm to thwart Putintseva and take a 5-2 lead. Teichmann closed out the set with another break to the Putintseva serve to make it four games in a row.
Putintseva, last year’s Nurnberg champion, looked set to make her comeback in the second set, holding serve under pressure and breaking to take a 2-1 lead. But her joy was short-lived as double faults and unforced errors plagued her next game, and she surrendered the break straight back.
Putintseva’s frustration grew as Teichmann reestablished her lead, comfortably reeling off the next five games in a row, and three double faults in the final game handed Teichmann the victory, 6-2, 6-2.
“I know Yulia and I’ve seen her play even though I never played against her,” Teichmann said. “I know she is a very tough fighter, and I knew it was going to be very physical as well. We both tend to play long points, and it’s very humid out there. So I knew that I had to keep calm, and really find my rhythm between putting intensity and staying calm and just being ready for a big fight.”
Teichmann awaits the winner of the all-American clash between Cici Bellis and Jessica Pegula.