Coco Gauff is through to the quarterfinals at a grass-court event for the first time in her career in Berlin. Awaiting her? Reigning Wimbledon finalist Karolina Pliskova.
To reach her latest career milestone, Roland Garros finalist Gauff earned a 6-0, 6-4 win over Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu, needing just 63 minutes to dispatch the World No.76.
Match management: Gauff won the first seven games of the match, but needed to come from a break down in the second set. Wang broke her serve for the first time at 1-1, but Gauff won five of the last six games of the match.
What's to come: Gauff's best prior result on grass was what introduced her to the world: a last 16 showing at Wimbledon in 2019 at the age of 15. Earlier this year, Pliskova won the first-ever meeting between the two—a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 first round match at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Kudermetova regroups to oust defending champion
To close out Thursday's slate of play, Veronika Kudermetova sealed the final quarterfinal berth with a 6-3. 6-7(5), 6-1 win over defending champion Liudmila Samsonova. After coming from 6-2, 5-2 down to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in Round 1, Kudermetova responded admirably to the reverse when it was Samsonova who rallied from a big deficit.
Match management: Kudermetova led the match, 6-3, 4-0, and failed to convert on a match point in the 10th game of the second set. Samsonova, who won the title as a qualifier 12 months ago, sent the match the distance on her fifth set point, barely hanging on after opening up a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak. However, Kudermetova started strongly to dominate the decider; she crucially saved five break points serving at 2-0, and sealed the win in 2 hours, 9 minutes.
Words from the winner: "I started to play really slow. I gave her a lot of chances and I started to do a lot of mistakes," Kudermetova said. "This surface, you need to play aggressive. If you start to slow down, you'll lose. ... [in the third set], I started to play more inside the court; if I had chances, I started to play more aggressive."
Kudermetova, in form on grass this summer after reaching the semifinals of the Libema Open last week, will next face No.8 seed Belinda Bencic.