Volvo Car Open: Bencic, Ostapenko, Puig all reach quarter-finals
Belinda Bencic, Jelena Ostapenko and Monica Puig all made it through the second round of the Volvo Car Open on Wednesday. The Swiss teen and Puerto Rican managed to hold in straight sets while the Latvian went to the brink of her extraordinary challenge at the Family Circle Tennis Center.
Puig faced a tough uphill battle against Sofia Kenin, who stayed on track with her through the entirety of the first set. It wasn’t until the 10th game when Puig shot through Kenin with three break points, before taking it comfortably after the fourth point.
They began fighting on both sides of the ball with Puig following Kenin with the break back before scoring a double in the sixth. She reached a 12-point streak which allowed her a 5-2 stance with two consecutive shutouts. Despite losing her serve in the ninth, the 25-year-old succeeded with a 6-4, 6-4 win on Court Three.
Bencic had it easier against Allie Kiick, who watched the Swiss star run through her like lightning. The 22-year-old barely missed a step - allowing her to bagel her opponent after just 19 minutes.
When Kiick dug in just enough, she managed to find a hold of serve in the second game. She continued through six games until a break for Bencic in the eighth clearly handed her the victory. The world number 21 reached match point to take care of her day just five minutes short of an hour with a 6-0, 6-3 win.
Meanwhile Ostapenko wished she had the luck of her counterparts, as Shelby Rogers was in no mood to give in. From the first game, she let the Latvian know her intentions were clear, aiming to pull off an upset. The first three games spanned nearly 20 points with Ostapenko trailing a break and despite getting even in the fourth, she knew it was going to be an uphill battle.
The 21-year-old's return game suffered throughout, which cost her late in the set as Rogers took the lead after seven. Despite trying to regroup late on, it was the American who stamped out a victory in the first set.
Two key breaks allowed the 10th seed to gain a footing and keep Rogers back enough. With the double break in hand, the Latvian defended her lead to close out the second set with a 6-3 score. The decider turned out to be the most enduring for both as Rogers again forced her way to a sizeable lead through four games. A triple-break gave her a 5-1 hold with plenty of opportunities to score the match win.
Ostapenko somehow recovered from the massive deficit and point-by-point, found herself climbing back to force a tiebreak which didn't seem possible. In the eighth, she finally gained control and never relinquished it again - winning by a 7-4 scoreline.
With two hours and 32 minutes of drama on centre court which saw Ostapenko more than relieved to earn the win, progressing into the quarter-finals - where she'll face Tatjana Maria or Madison Keys. Puig is set to face Aryna Sabalenka, while Bencic will compete against American Taylor Townsend.