Maria Sakkari eliminates Serena on her favorite stage

The Greek tennis player stars in the big surprise of the day by defeating the minor Williams 5-7, 7-6 (5) and 6-1. Azarenka, also in quarters.

Maria-Sakkari-eliminates-Serena-on-her-favorite-stage

Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari gave the big surprise of the day in the Premier 5 of Cincinnati by beating the American Serena Williams, the former world number one, 5-7, 7-6 (5) and 6-1 on Tuesday and reach the quarterfinals.

Sakkari, who was on the verge of defeat, played an exceptional third set, giving a tennis lesson to the best of the Williams sisters, two times champion of the tournament, which confirmed that she still cannot find her best game that made her invincible until before that she was a mother.

The Greek tennis player, who has reached the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Premier 5 for the second time in a row, which this year is played on the courts of Flushing Meadows (New York), scene of glorious nights for Serena, prevented the American champion from seeking his third tournament title.

Sakkari, who started the week with a decisive win over American teenager Cori "Coco" Gauff, trailed by a set and a break in her first encounter with the 23-time Grand Slam champion, before reaching the deciding set that gave her victory after two hours and 17 minutes of action on the Grandstand court.

Williams, 38, who was two points away from a loss in her first round to Dutch Arantxa Rus, took to the court after a late afternoon storm delayed action for 90 minutes, but enjoyed a start without problems, partial of 5-2, with the force of a dominance of his serve.

Sakkari was not discouraged and instead began to take advantage of some unforced errors by the number three seed to tie the set (5-5). However, the youngest of the Williams sisters, did not want to reach the tiebreaker and was able to make the "break" to the young Greek tennis player of 25 years to sweep the last two games.

Again, Sakkari was unfazed by losing the set and started the second with another break, which gave him a 3-1 run before Williams could also react with four consecutive games in his favor and the service in his power to ensure the match.

Williams, who reached the bottom eight on her return to action at the Top Seed Open presented by Bluegrass Orthopedics with a win over her older sister Venus, was within two points of victory when Sakkari emerged to earn a late break point and level the set one more time. As in the first set, Serena responded with a solid serve and tried to pressure Sakkari to lose it, but this time the Greek tennis player did not do it and forced a tie-break with a great demonstration of control in the game.

The sudden death that followed saw Sakkari reverse a 1-4 deficit as Williams landed some powerful shots from the baseline, and the 13th seed also placed some forehand decisors that allowed him to secure the second set and tie the game.

Sakkari maintained that aggressive form early in the final set, landing another impressive winning shot to design break points in Williams' first game of serve, which began to lose her confidence. What followed was a series of seven "deuces" backhand shots before Sakkari finally converted her eighth chance, and the break was decisive, because it left the former world number one without physical strength and without confidence in her tennis.

Sakkari took full control from there, advancing 5-0 as frustration and physical struggles took hold of the former world number one. Nonetheless, she saved seven match points as she served to stay in the match, fighting bravely from the back of the court, but more to defend her honor as a 23-time Grand Slam champion than in the hope that she could pull off the comeback. . With the match on his racket, Sakkari responded with a searing forehand and finally broke the line on his eighth match point.

In total, the No. 13 seed made two more winners (27-25) and 15 fewer errors (43-58), converted five of 19 break opportunities while maintaining a 59% first serve percentage, hitting seven aces to nine. by Williams.

Between Sakkari and a third Premier 5 semifinal is eighth-seeded British Johanna Konta, who beat former world number two, Russian Vera Zvonareva, in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-2, at the start of the day.

The other quarter-finalists of the tournament are Japan's Naomi Osaka (4), Estonian Anett Kontaveit (12), Belgian Elise Mertens (14), Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, Tunisian Ons Jabeur, and American Jessica Pegula.

Azarenka maintains dominance over Cornet and reaches fourths

Belorussian Victoria Azarenka, former world number one, beat France's Alizé Cornet 6-4 and 7-5 on Tuesday, in the third round of the Cincinnati Tournament, and kept her unbeaten of 7 -0 in the matches that both have played in the WTA.

Azarenka, 31, winner of the tournament in 2013, confirmed her good moment of play, and after having defeated in the previous matches the Croatian Donna Vekic, fifteenth seed, and then the French Caroline García, in what were his first victories against those rivals.

The Belarusian tennis player, who now ranks 59th in the WTA, imposed her tennis and always decided the decisive goals in her favor. Azarenka finished with 86 points, six more than Cornet, aged 30 and 60 in the world, who lost her first match against the Belarusian in 2012 when they met in the first round of the Beijing tournament. Since then, five more times they had played before Tuesday, the previous one last year at Wimbledon.

Azarenka's rival in the quarterfinals will be the winner of the third round match between Turkey's Ons Jabeur and Christina McHale of the United States, who reached the main draw through the qualifying round.

Results of the day.



Photos from as.com
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