On a day that saw No.4 seed Elina Svitolina bundled out by Angelique Kerber in the early afternoon, No.3 seed Aryna Sabalenka was beaten as dusk fell by a surging Paula Badosa. 

The Spaniard rallied from a set down, and a break down in the third set, to beat the No.3 seed in 2 hours and 19 minutes, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4). It was Badosa's second comeback, with a deciding tiebreak to boot, in as many matches in her Cincinnati debut so far: she saved five match points in a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(9) victory over Petra Martic in the first round.

She advances to face Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina for a spot in the quarterfinals. The pair have split two previous meetings, both of which have come on clay. 

She Said It: Badosa saluted the fans at the Lindner Family Tennis Center for helping to fuel her comeback effort.

"I think with fans, I played even better," she said on-court. "I wasn't expecting [success like this] at the beginning of the year. I knew I was working hard, but everything is coming very fast. I think it's a little bit of self confidence and believing in myself and trusting every ball, like I did today.

"Aryna is an amazing player. I used to see her on TV, so at the beginning, it was a little bit surprising. She has amazing shots. I knew I had to fight until the last moment, and that's what I did."

Stats of the Match: Despite doubling Badosa's winner total (41 to 20) and hitting nine aces, Sabalenka also totaled 12 double faults and 54 unforced errors in the match. That proved too much to overcome against a consistent Badosa who was aggressive when she had her opportunities, and earned her third Top 10 win of the season. 

Both players had nine break points, with Badosa breaking serve six times and losing her own five times. Neither woman faced a break point across the last seven games of the decider, setting the match up for a thrilling conclusion. 

Simona Halep withdraws, Jessica Pegula advances 

Simona Halep's first tournament in three months was cut short on Wednesday when the No.12 seed withdrew from her third-round match against American Jessica Pegula.

The three-time Cincinnati finalist underwent a scan on the leg injury she suffered in her second-round victory against Poland's Magda Linette, which revealed a small tear in her right adductor.

She hopes to be ready for the US Open, where she reached the semifinals in 2015. The main draw for the year's final Grand Slam begins in 12 days.

A quarterfinalist at the Western & Southern Open in 2020 when it was played in New York on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Pegula will next face either No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova or Yulia Putintseva for a chance to match that result this year. 

Ons Jabeur upsets Iga Swiatek again

A month after beating her on the grass at Wimbledon - where she rallied from a set down - Ons Jabeur picked up another win over Iga Swiatek for her fourth Top 10 win of the season. This one was a dominant display from start to finish by the Tunisian: a 6-3, 6-3 victory in just 78 minutes. 

Jabeur soars vs. Swiatek to tally 4th Top 10 win of 2021: Cincinnati Highlights

2021 Cincinnati

Stat of the Day: The straight-sets victory for Jabeur was in itself notable: the pair's previous two matches went the distance, and Jabeur's last four matches all were three-setters, too.

"That was surprising, me getting it done in straight sets!" Jabeur joked after the match. "Honestly, I was really ready for this match for a long time. I finished late yesterday and playing late today, I was ready. I didn't make the same mistakes I made at Wimbledon and closed out the first set. 

"She's a great player. She has tricky shots. She doesn't give you the same rhythm and always changed it up. It wasn't easy to play her, so me being aggressive today and putting a lot of pressure on her serve helped me a lot."

Up next for Jabeur: The Tunisian will next face No.11 seed Petra Kvitova, against whom she is 0-2. At the Qatar Total Open in Doha last year, the pair played a tight quarterfinal in front of a passionate crowd in Jabeur's corner, which was won by Kvitova in two tiebreaks.

"Petra is someone that I respect so much. I'm looking for my revenge, because last time it was very tough in two sets. I carry great memories from that match, but I'm looking forward to play her. I hope I can do my best to win tomorrow."