What does one do after losing a tough opening set?

While Victoria Azarenka was busy resetting Thursday against an in-form Taylor Townsend, son Leo turned to dessert for his coping mechanism.

“I needed an ice cream break. I really needed it. I was too hot,” he told Steve Weissman.

“I went to the bathroom and took the ice cream break, too,” joked his mom.

Azarenka would eventually turn the match around in her favor for a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 victory over the left-hander. A phenomenal match point saw Azarenka use every bit of her reach in sliding defensive shots, eventually outfoxing Townsend’s final volley with a charging backhand pushed into the open court to cap a 13-point rally.

“It just probably sums up the whole match. It was so dramatic,” said Azarenka.

“Taylor played great, she hit so many lines. Her serve was really tough. I feel like especially in the second set, I got a really important break and got a little better energy, better rhythm there.”

Azarenka's reaction after sealing the intense match point said it all.

Azarenka's reaction after sealing the intense match point said it all.


The former world No. 1 went four for 18 on her break point chances during the hard-fought battle.

“Just to be able to create those opportunities, it’s really important. I feel like it does apply pressure on my opponent,” she assessed. “In the important moments, I still kept positive. It was really tough conditions to feel the rhythm. I’m happy I was able to fight through that.”

How did Leo sum up the latest performance?


To use his word, an amazing quarterfinal showdown awaits the 34-year-old, as Azarenka will take on Jessica Pegula. The world No. 5 rolled over Magda Linette, 6-2, 6-2. Earlier in the week, Pegula gave Azarenka something to think about.

“We practiced here the first day I got here. She kicked my ass!” laughed the No. 12 seed. “So I’m going to try to get my revenge.

“Jessie is a great player. We always have tough battles.”

Jaqueline Cristian eliminated an American opponent for the third consecutive round. Following wins over Sachia Vickery and No. 8 seed Madison Keys, Cristian downed 10th-seeded home favorte Emma Navarro, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, to line up a last eight clash with former champion Daria Kasatkina. The No. 4 seed dispatched Anhelina Kalinina, 6-1, 6-4, capitalizing on nine of her 11 break points.

Later, Danielle Collins notched her 10th successive win—and second of the day—after defeating Sloane Stephens, 6-2, 6-2, in the third round. She previously ousted reigning champion Ons Jabeur in the early afternoon.