Aryna Sabalenka on Thursday advanced to the quarterfinals of the Saint Petersburg Ladies Trophy after a straight-sets win over Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.
Sabalenka, playing her first match since cracking the top 10 this week, won 6-1 6-4 to set up a meeting with Ekaterina Alexandrova.
This year Sabalenka has already won a WTA title – in Shenzhen – and also advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, putting her win-loss record at 8-2 for the season so far.
— WTA (@WTA) January 31, 2019
“It’s just on the paper that I’m a Top 10 player. I still need to go on the court, I still need to play my best tennis, put everything on the court, push myself through everything,” she told wtatennis.com.
“It was a great match, it was a great start actually. In the second set, I had a little bit of problems with my serve, but I’m happy that I could win this set, because actually I didn’t want to play three sets.”
Sabalenka joins No.1 seed Petra Kvitova, second seed Kiki Bertens and No.3 seed Daria Kasatkina in the last eight at the indoor tournament; Kasatkina advanced when opponent Maria Sharapova withdrew citing a right shoulder injury.
One player failing to join those players in the quarterfinals was sixth seed Jelena Ostapenko.
The Latvian’s lean start to the season continued when she was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a recent Australian Open quarterfinalist.
Ostapenko, who has fallen outside the top 20, has lost four of her five matches this season, yet her first-round win over Kristina Mladenovic in Saint Petersburg snapped a five-match losing streak dating back to October 2018.
Pavlyuchenkova goes on to face Bertens for a place in the semifinals.
“Definitely (Ostapenko) was a tough opponent,” Pavlyuchenkova told wtatennis.com. “I’m really happy I am through to the quarterfinals here. I think I played a really good and solid match from the start to the end.”
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