It was a day of upsets here at the Sydney International as three of the top five seeds crashed out in today’s second round matches (excluding Karolina Pliskova who withdrew from the tournament). The weather conditions were perfect for the action as all the second round matches were completed successfully within today and the lineup for the quarterfinals were set after today’s matches. The big winners of the day were Daria Kasatkina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Eugenie Bouchard as all of them managed to create upsets and reach the quarterfinals unexpectedly.
Daria Kasatkina pulls off shock victory
Daria Kasatkina pulled off a shocking victory over world number one Angelique Kerber in straight sets despite not playing her best tennis. Kerber looked very poor in form throughout the match and was very erratic which eventually cost her the loss. The Russian went up an early lead in the first set but was pegged back by the German eventually. However, Kasatkina managed to triumph in the tiebreak to be halfway from the major upset which would see her earn her career-best victory. She did just so as she held her nerves to close out the match thanks to the abundance of unforced errors given by Kerber, whose poor start to 2017 continues.
Kuznetsova shocked by Pavlyuchenkova
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was another Russian who managed to create an upset on the third day of action here in Sydney as she defeated fellow compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets. Kuznetsova was not looking at her best as she was uncharacteristically erratic and her groundstrokes were really leaky with Pavlyuchenkova playing her best tennis. Kuznetsova was the one who earned the first break in the match but was unable to go against Pavlyuchenkova’s strong offensive game which played a major factor in helping her to make a comeback to win the first set.
The second set was much more smooth sailing in the second set as Pavlyuchenkova made the first breakthrough and despite being pegged back by Kuznetsova, she managed to regain the lead and never looked back since as she never once let the lead slip out of her hands after she claimed the victory in straight sets.
Bouchard upsets Cibulkova
Eugenie Bouchard reached the quarterfinals of the Sydney International after she upset Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets, having to come back from a break down twice in the first set. The second set was much easier for Bouchard as she took the lead and held onto the hard-earned lead tightly as her offensive style of tennis was just too strong for Cibulkova. Eventually, Bouchard closed out the match in straight sets after 111 minutes to earn her fourth career victory over the Slovakian to progress to the quarterfinals.
Wozniacki strolls to victory
Caroline Wozniacki came out firing straight in her second round match against Yulia Putintseva, as she looked to be in a rush after she successfully won the first set in a bagel to claim the perfect start to the match after just 23 minutes. The second set was much tighter in terms of the scoreline as Putintseva finally got the lead for the first time in the match after she broke serve for the first time in the match as well. However, Wozniacki broke straight back to return on serve and she earned two match points moments later at 5-4. Despite Putintseva not playing her best tennis, she still managed to extend the set but soon went down 7-5 in the second set to gift Wozniacki the match.
Johanna Konta strolled to an easy victory over home favorite Daria Gavrilova in straight sets after just 81 minutes. Konta started the match brightly as she jumped out to a 5-1 lead within a blink of an eye with some excellent offensive play. A tight service game by Gavrilova at 1-5 while serving to stay in the match finally saw Konta prevail in the 19-point game to seal up the first set. A sole break in the second set at 0-1 saw Konta take the lead throughout the set and never lost it, as she eventually closed out the match to seal a quarterfinal place.
Meanwhile, second seed Agnieszka Radwanska got past against qualifier Christina McHale in her opening round match as she received a bye in the first round. Falling behind 3-0 with game points for a 4-0 deficit, Radwanska soon stepped up her game to storm back and make a comeback to win the first set in a tiebreak. With the momentum running in her, Radwanska strolled to the seconds set victory which saw her close out the match after 113 minutes.
Barbora Strycova kicked another seeded player out of the field when she defeated Roberta Vinci in an easy match which saw Strycova recover from an early break in the first set to win the first set 6-2 after she successfully served out the first set in a marathon 21-point service game. Strycova took the lead early in the second serve as she broke serve in the opening game and did not let the lead slip as the match progressed when the Czech managed to close out the match after 81 minutes.
Qualifier Duan Yingying was the only qualifier who was able to reach the quarterfinals as she created a huge upset when she defeated Coco Vandeweghe in a straight sets match that was just concluded within 65 minutes. Duan was very effective on her offense today as she broke serve a total of four times in the match to seal the victory and set up a rematch of last week’s Shenzhen Open first round match against Agnieszka Radwanska, whom she had three match points against last week.
The pairing of Daria Gavrilova and Daria Kasatkina made an incredible comeback in their match today as they came from 1-6, 0-4 down to triumph in three sets eventually against Liezel Huber and Maria Sanchez.
In the only doubles quarterfinal match of the day, Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova strolled to a comfortable victory over Anna-Lena Gronefeld and Kveta Peschke to reach the semifinal in just their first tournament together.