Anisimova, Bencic score upset wins as Badosa survives into final eight
Amanda Anisimova knows her game matches up well with that of Aryna Sabalenka. That worked in her favor again on Thursday at the Credit One Charleston Open.
The 20-year-old American, ranked No. 47 in the world, led a series of upsets on Thursday in Charleston, notching her fourth-ever Top 10 victory with an upset over the top seed and world No. 5 Sabalenka, 3-6 6-4 6-3.
2019 champion Madison Keys was also knocked out by Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, while No. 2 Paula Badosa came back from the brink to survive American Claire Liu and set up a meeting on Friday with Bencic.
Up first on stadium, the win moved Anisimova to 3-0 lifetime against Sabalenka, and launches her into the quarterfinals in Charleston for the first time as she earned her 12th win of the 2022 season.
“It was a really tough match but I was really enjoying it,” Anisimova said on Tennis Channel after the win. “I love playing on stadium, it makes it more enjoyable. I love playing in front of so many people and the Charleston crowd is so supportive.”
An American will be in the semifinals this weekend, as Anisimova will meet compatriot Coco Vandeweghe there. Vandeweghe, who is making her way back onto the tour following an off-court injury, is a lucky loser out of qualifying. She beat American No. 6 seed Jessica Pegula in three sets on the Althea Gibson Club Court 6-4 3-6 6-4.
It was a third match win in as many outings this week for Bencic, who had to wait over an hour between between sets due to inclement weather to register a 6-4 6-4 win.
Keys’ loss means that the tournament will have a first-time champion for an eighth consecutive year.
“It was tough,” Bencic said of the nearly 80-minute rain delay. “I was working hard to focus.”
Keys, meanwhile, leaves with disappointment having taken on the role as home hope in Charleston over the last decade in coming here.
“When you’re playing someone as good as Belinda, it’s a couple of points here or there,” said Keys after the match. “I think I played really well to get up 4-2 in the second, and then I think I got a little tight and made a couple of bad errors.”
Added Keys: “She’s also a really good competitor, and I think when she starts winning matches she feels more and more comfortable and confident.”
Earlier, No. 4 Ons Jabeur finished her match from Wednesday evening – held overnight due to rain – winning against local hope Emma Navarro with a 6-3 6-2 scoreline to advance into the third round and will face Irina-Camelia Begu in the evening.
The upset theme bounced around the grounds on Thursday, with No. 7 seed Leylah Fernandez going down in a tough three setter on Club Court, losing to Poland’s Magda Linette 3-6 6-3 6-4 in what was a second round match-up. Linette meets Kaia Kanepi on Thursday evening.
Handling a shift in momentum 〽️
“You're always just trying to do your best to win each game, so the score isn't that important because it can go back and forth very quickly. You just have to focus and use the variety in your game.” 🎤@AnisimovaAmanda #CharlestonOpen pic.twitter.com/VSQtgtul1M
— Credit One Charleston Open (@CharlestonOpen) April 7, 2022
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