From Ball Girl to Quarterfinalist – Rogers’ Dream Run Rolls On

Sometimes, dreams do come true in tennis.

This week at the Volvo Car Open that dream has belonged to Shelby Rogers, a former ball girl at this event who now – for the first time in six tries – is into the last eight of the event she grew up with in her backyard.

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“It’s always been a little bit tough for me to play here… (but) I’ve matured a little bit and now I get to enjoy it,” Rogers said Thursday night after winning a third match this week.

She continued: “I’m happy I get to come back and play another match. I’ve said this before, but I just want to keep going.”

Rogers will try to keep things going in one of four quarterfinals set for Friday as the tournament itself moves into its business end.

Here, we take a look at the matches that will decide who moves into championship weekend.

[10] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) vs. Daria Kasatkina (RUS)
Second match – not before 1pm, Volvo Car Stadium
For the third time in three Charleston appearances, Begu is into the quarterfinals here. She’ll look to go one further against Kasatkina, who was close to beating last year’s eventual winner Sloane Stephens when they played in the quarters in 2016. This will be hard-hitting power (Begu) against all-court craft (Kasatkina).

[8] Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) vs. Laura Siegemund (GER)
Third match, Volvo Car Stadium
It’s been a resurgent event for both Sevastova and Siegemund, two players who have had success in the last year but were struggling to start the 2017 season. Siegemund has been a giant-killer thus far: She saved match points to beat Venus Williams in the second round, then took out former finalist Lucie Safarova on Thursday.

Shelby Rogers (USA) vs. [11] Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
Fourth match, Volvo Car Stadium
Can Rogers keep her run going? She has a tough test in Lucic-Baroni, a 35-year-old who hits the ball as hard as anyone on tour. They’ve met once before: Just a few weeks ago in Acapulco, Lucic-Baroni winning in two tight sets.

[5] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
Evening session – 7pm, Volvo Car Stadium
Wozniacki enters the quarterfinals as the favorite in the event now – both as the highest remaining seed and as a former winner here. Surprisingly it’s Ostapenko who owns a 1-0 lead in their head-to-head, winning in New Haven when the two faced off there a year ago.

Bookending the day: Doubles. One quarterfinal will take place to start the day, while Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova, the top seeds, will play the second match of the evening session when they take on the all-American team of Jennifer Brady and Alison Riske, the two teams fighting for a spot in the semifinals.