The rain played havoc at the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Wednesday, but No.3 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova and No.5 seed Barbora Krejcikova squeezed in victories to set up a quarterfinal showdown.
Alexandrova opened the day with a 6-3, 6-4 win over French wildcard Clara Burel. The World No.33 from Russia needed an hour and 10 minutes to dispatch the 20-year-old and book a spot in her fourth quarterfinal of the season.
One of five Russians ranked in the Top 40, Alexandrova converted six of her ten break points to collect the win over the World No.146. She matches her career-best result at a WTA clay-court event, which came earlier this season with a run to the Stuttgart quarterfinals.
Alexandrova thus keeps her hopes alive to become the third Russian to win the Strasbourg title, following Maria Sharapova in 2010 and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 2018.
Krejcikova set up her quarterfinal clash with Alexandrova with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 comeback over another French hope, Caroline Garcia. 38th-ranked Krejcikova leveled her head-to-head with former Top 5 player Garcia at 1-1 after the one-hour and 49-minute tilt.
Garcia, the 2016 Strasbourg champion and runner-up in 2019, never faced a break point in the opening frame as she swept to the one-set lead. However, it was Krejcikova who pulled off that very same feat in the second set, as she used exceptional winners down the line to tie up the affair.
Krejcikova fired another forehand winner down the line to break for a 2-0 lead in the decider, and the Czech charged to victory from there, finishing the match with 24 winners and a 4-for-5 break point conversion rate.
Unfortunately, the two other completed results on Wednesday ended with retirements. No.4 seed Yulia Putintseva advanced to the quarterfinals when Jil Teichmann retired due to a left lower leg injury after losing the first two games of their match.
Arantxa Rus moved into the quarterfinals as well after French wildcard Harmony Tan retired with a right wrist injury while trailing 6-1, 1-1. Rus is now into her first WTA quarterfinal since Monterrey in March of last year.
The remaining second-round matches were called off for the day after rain returned in the evening. At the time, qualifier Jule Niemeier was edging towards an upset, leading No.7 seed Shelby Rogers 6-4, 2-1. They will resume their battle on Thursday.
The second-round match between No.6 seed Zhang Shuai and Sorana Cirstea was postponed to Thursday. The winner of that match will advance directly to the semifinals, as their scheduled quarterfinal opponent, No.1 seed Bianca Andreescu, withdrew following her second-round victory due to an abdominal injury.