Sabalenka wins in St Petersburg, Ostapenko out

Published by Tennismash

Aryna Sabalenka (Getty Images)
Freshly-minted top-10 player Aryna Sabalenka wins her first match at the Saint Petersburg Ladies Trophy to reach the quarterfinals, while Jelena Ostapenko fell.

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.

“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.

NEWS: Kvitova beats Azarenka in St. Petersburg

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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