Upsets galore in Cincinnati as Aryna Sabalenka, Elina Svitolina, Iga Swiatek, Bianca Andreescu lose

WTA Tour
Aryna Sabalenka reacts during a match

Four of the top 10 seeds exited the Western & Southern Open in the second round as Aryna Sabalenka, Elina Svitolina, Iga Swiatek and Bianca Andreescu suffered defeats.

Spaniard Paula Badosa continued her excellent breakout year as she upset third seed Sabalenka with a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory in two hours and 19 minutes.

After sharing the opening two sets, Badosa and Sabalenka each broke twice early in the decider before the world No 31 got the lone break in the tie-breaker.

Badosa, who won her first WTA singles title in Serbia this year and also reached three other semi-finals, will face Elina Rybakina in the third round after the Kazakh beat 15th seed Elise Mertens.

“I think with fans, I played even better,” Badosa said on-court. “I wasn’t expecting [success like this] at the beginning of the year. I knew I was working hard, but everything is coming very fast. I think it’s a little bit of self confidence and believing in myself and trusting every ball, like I did today.”

Ukrainian Svitolina also lost in three sets as the fourth seed suffered a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 defeat against former world No 1 Angelique Kerber.

There were 12 breaks of serve in the match, but Kerber got the crucial break in game seven of the third set to earn a third-round clash against Jelena Ostapenko.

Exciting Tunisian Ons Jabeur accounted for sixth seed Swiatek’s demise as the Wimbledon 2021 quarter-finalist brushed aside the Pole 6-3, 6-3 with two breaks in the first set and one in the second.

“That was surprising, me getting it done in straight sets!” Jabeur, who faces 11th seed Petra Kvitova next, joked. “Honestly, I was really ready for this match for a long time. I finished late yesterday and playing late today, I was ready. I didn’t make the same mistakes I made at Wimbledon and closed out the first set.”

Meanwhile, seventh seed Bianca Andreescu lost 6-4, 6-2 against Karolina Muchova from the Czech Republic.

There were wins for top seed Ashleigh Barty, who defeated Heather Watson 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), eighth seed Garbine Muguruza and ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova.

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