MALLORCA, Spain -- No.2 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia notched another in a long line of quality results at the Mallorca Open on Wednesday, moving past Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, 6-2, 6-1, to reach the quarterfinals.
"Obviously, I felt good on the court," Sevastova told the media, after her win. "It was a short match, but in the beginning I had to be concentrated and return a lot of serves, and just keep fighting, and wait for my chances and take them."
Sevastova improved her career record at the grass-court event to a sublime 15-2 after her 62-minute victory over Tomljanovic. The Latvian has reached the final in all three of her previous appearances at the tournament, hoisting the trophy in 2017.
"I don’t know what to say, I’m like the Rafa [Nadal] of Mallorca," Sevastova said with a laugh. "A little bit -- just one percent! I like the grass here, I like the conditions, I like how the balls fly here."
World No.12 Sevastova played an extremely clean match, with nine winners and just five unforced errors, and she never faced a break point, winning 80 percent of points on both her first and second serves. Powerful Tomljanovic had 11 winners during the clash, but was undone by 19 unforced errors.
Sevastova will now face Wang Yafan of China in the elite eight, after Wang got past Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium earlier on Wednesday in straight sets. Wang is a first-time WTA singles titlist in 2019, defeating Sofia Kenin in the Acapulco final. It will be the first meeting between Sevastova and Wang.
After a couple of relatively routine holds to open the match, Sevastova took command of the opening stanza with a break for 3-2 after back-to-back errors by Tomljanovic cost her that game. A forehand winner brought Sevastova to break point for a 5-2 lead, which she converted after an errant dropshot by the Australian.
The No.2 seed briefly wobbled a game away from winning the set, going down 0-30 at 5-2, but steady serving pulled her through to set point, where she carved a divine slice backhand to force another error from Tomljanovic and claim the one-set lead. Sevastova had only one unforced error in the first set.
Sevastova maintained her momentum in the second set, breaking Tomljanovic straightaway. The Australian was unable to convert any of three game points at 2-0 as Sevastova earned a double-break lead to go up 3-0, and the Latvian used more strong serves to win an eighth straight game for 4-0.
Serving to stay in the match at 5-1, Tomljanovic saved a match point with an excellent crosscourt forehand. But, once again, the Australian could not collect the service hold, squandering four game points. A long volley by Tomljanovic brought up a second match point for Sevastova, which was converted after a long miscue by the unseeded Aussie.