WTA Lexington Day 3 wrapup: Gauff fights past Sabalenka; Jabeur, Brady, Bouzkova also win
Photo: Dylan Buell

The second round at the Top Seed Open continued with four matches, the highlight being Cori Gauff edging second seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets. Eighth seed Ons JabeurJennifer Brady and Marie Bouzkova were also victorious. 

Gauff, Jabeur set up quarterfinal with three set wins

The 16-year old American sensation came through a two hour, 48 minute tussle against second-seeded Sabalenka, winning 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4. The Belarusian grabbed the first break of the match before Gauff responded to go up 5-2. Sabalenka fought back to force a tiebreaker where Gauff jumped out quickly, going ahead 5-0 before winning it 7-4.

The tables were turned in the second set as Sabalenka bolted to a 5-2 lead and held off a late charge by Gauff, breaking at love to capture the set and level the match. In a seesaw third set that saw Sabalenka take a 4-3 lead, the American won 12 of the final 14 points to record the victory and advance to the quarterfinals.

"I think my mentality pushed me to win", she said. "We're both playing good tennis, and had our ups and downs in the match. At the end of the day, it came down to a couple of close points. It's pretty much impossible to play your best tennis for all three hours of a match.

"Keeping the level throughout was pretty tough, but that's just tennis, playing in different conditions, and just starting back on tour. I'm not too upset with how I played; I'm most proud of how I handled myself, staying composed on the pressure points."

Jabeur began play on Center Court by rallying from a set down against qualifier Olga Govortsova​​​​​, winning 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. The Belarusian races out to a 4-0 double break lead as Jabeur managed to retrieve one of the breaks back before Govortsova closed out the set.

Early breaks were exchanged in the second set with the Tunisian ahead 2-1 and she won four of the next five games to close out the set. Govortsova took a 2-1 lead in the third only to see Jabeur win the next four games to go up 5-2. A late surge wasn't enough for the qualifier as the eighth seed held on after one hour, 50 minutes of play.

Jabeur is into her third quarterfinal of the year/Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Jabeur is into her third quarterfinal of the year/Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

"My game was there, I know that I could mix it up a little bit and really bother her with my game, but I just didn't find my rhythm in the beginning", she assessed afterwards. "But I'm glad that I served good in the times that I needed to serve good - a couple of aces were really important for me to win my service games.

"She was trying to be more aggressive at the end, when I was winning 5-2. That was a good match, I'm really proud of myself that I pulled out the win."

Brady, Bouzkova set up quarterfinal clash with comfortable victories

Brady pulled off a mild upset of sixth seed Magda Linette, the American prevailing 6-3, 6-2 while Bouzkova won the first four games of her match against Anna Blinkova to claim a 6-4, 6-2 win as the Czech will face Brady for a spot in the semifinals.

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