No.7 seed Jelena Ostapenko delivered a dazzling performance to defeat Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-2 in 58 minutes and book her place in the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarterfinals.
The Latvian was at her best, slamming 40 winners in total to only 24 unforced errors and conceding just five points behind her first serve.
Ostapenko matches her best tournament showing of a quarterfinal run in 2018 - though she did win the title in 2015 as a qualifier when the event was held as an ITF W50.
Ostapenko will next face Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who cruised past Jaqueline Cristian 6-2, 6-3 in 71 minutes in a battle of unseeded players. The Belarusian reached her first WTA 500 quarterfinal since Sydney 2019 with the win.
Match management: Ostapenko was brilliant in every facet of the game. A series of one-two punches formed a reliable foundation in every service game, and she attacked the Petkovic serve with gusto to conjure six clean return winners. The former World No.5's ability to adjust within rallies was also impressive, and she deployed the lob and slice to superb effect.
Ostapenko faced danger in only one service game. Having sealed the double break lead in the second set for 4-1, a flurry of unforced errors and some improved Petkovic returning meant that she faced five break-back points in the next game. Two stellar backhand winners staved off the first two, and service winners the next three. From there, Ostapenko was essentially home and dry.
Begu upsets former champion Kvitova, Rybakina withdraws
Irina-Camelia Begu overturned a 0-5 head-to-head in emphatic style to upset No.6 seed and former champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-0 in the second round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy. In the quarterfinals, she will meet Tereza Martincova, who progressed via walkover after No.3 seed Elena Rybakina withdrew due to illness.
Begu had won only one set against Kvitova in five previous meetings dating back to 2015. That was also in St. Petersburg, at the same stage of the tournament in 2018, with the Czech winning 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 en route to the title.
However, No.56-ranked Begu needed only 69 minutes to earn her first victory over an error-strewn Kvitova. The Romanian maintained a high serving standard, winning 73% of the points behind her first delivery.
Kvitova seemed to have found her groove when she came from 4-1 down in the first set to level at 4-4. But serving to stay in the set, a double fault and wide forehand gifted the lead to Begu. A trio of unforced errors on the second shot of the rally and another double fault handed over the first break of the second set.
Begu kept her foot on the gas, sealing a 4-0 double break by coming up with her three finest winners of the match from 40-0 down. A backhand long on match point, Kvitova's 35th unforced error of the day, sealed a 10-game streak to finish off the win for Begu.
The result seals Begu's second quarterfinal in three tournaments so far this year, having already reached that stage at Melbourne Summer Set 2. It is her first last-eight showing in a WTA 500 tournament since the 2021 Gippsland Trophy.