MASON, Ohio -- The quarterfinals are set at the Western & Southern Open, and No.6 seed Aryna Sabalenka and No.7 seed Jessica Pegula are leading the way. On a day that saw the top half of the draw lose No.1 Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur, here is how the bottom half is shaping up.
No.6 Aryna Sabalenka d. Shelby Rogers, 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4
Sabalenka and Rogers combined for a total of 23 aces over their 2-hour and 35-minute showdown, but it was Sabalenka who overcame a wobble in the second set to edge the American for the win. Sabalenka improved her record to 2-0 against the American and advanced to her seventh WTA 1000 quarterfinal and second in Cincinnati.
Highlights: Sabalenka d. Rogers
Rogers came into the match with an outstanding 3-1 record against Top 10 opposition this season, but her two losses this year will have come at the hands of Sabalenka. Despite out-acing Sabalenka 13 to 10, Rogers was broken six times in the match.
Zhang Shuai d. No.2 Anett Kontaveit, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Zhang stellar week at the Western & Southern Open continued with a win over No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit to advance to her first WTA 1000 quarterfinal since 2018 Beijing. It is the second marquee win for Zhang after ousting former No.1 Naomi Osaka in the first round. Zhang will face Sabalenka next.
After dropping the opening set, Zhang methodically leveled the match by managing her service games while increasing her return pressure. Kontaveit faced break points in her first two service games of the second set before Zhang finally earned the only break of the set for a 4-3 lead and closed out the set. The two traded blows in a tight deciding set that saw four consecutive breaks of serve before Zhang broke Kontaveit for the fifth and final time to lead 5-4. She closed out the win after 1 hour and 59 minutes.
Caroline Garcia d. Elise Mertens, 6-4, 7-5
No player has won more tour matches since the beginning of June than Caroline Garcia. Over that span, the Frenchwoman picked up titles on the grass in Bad Homburg and clay of Warsaw. Now ranked No.35, Garcia came through qualifying in Cincinnati and followed up her win over No.4 seed Maria Sakkari by defeating Elise Mertens to advance to her first WTA 1000 quarterfinal since 2018.
Garcia will face No.7 seed Jessica Pegula next.