Quarterfinal lineup complete: Gauff, Stephens win again in Charleston

Quarterfinal lineup complete: Gauff, Stephens win again in Charleston

Elsewhere, Danka Kovinic upended No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova in straight sets Thursday, setting up a meeting with Yulia Putintseva. The Kazakh was a beneficiary of Garbine Muguruza's untimely left leg injury.

A rundown of how the Volvo Car Open quarterfinals have shaped up in Charleston, S.C. Thursday.

[12] Coco Gauff vs. [14] Ons Jabeur

The 17-year-old held off Lauren Davis, 6-2, 7-6 (6), to reach her first tour-level quarterfinal on clay. Gauff has now won all four matches she's played since Tuesday, earning three singles victories and a doubles win with Caty McNally. 

"Definitely felt good. The first set, I started off strong, didn't make too many errors. Was really hitting the ball deep in the court," Gauff told Tennis Channel's Steve Weissman afterwards. "In the second set, she started to play better. I started to step in more on my heavy balls. I changed my game plan, starting to be a little bit more aggressive, but not too much where I was making errors.

Awaiting the Delray Beach, Fla. resident is someone she defeated twice in 2020, Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian rallied past Alize Cornet, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Gauff's pair of wins came in Lexington (hard) and Rome (red clay).

Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith

Danka Kovinic vs. Yulia Putintseva

Fellow two-time major winners Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza were projected to meet in the quarterfinals, but neither got to that stage. Kovinic upset third-seeded Kvitova by advancing, 6-4, 6-1, for her first Top 20 win of the year. In her two prior encounters with the Czech, Kovinic was two points away from prevailing, but ultimately lost tough three-setters at 2016 Indian Wells and Roland Garros.

"I have to say I'm pleased with everything I showed today on the court. It was really my day today," Kovinic said at the Tennis Channel Desk. "I felt really good out there. I think the score says it... this was my revenge today.

"I really like this clay. It's a bit faster and really suits my game. I like to slide but also like to hit, do topspins. I love this environment."

Down 0-6, 2-2, Putintseva was the beneficiary of Muguruza's untimely left leg injury. Both 26, Kovinic and Putintseva have never met previously.

Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith

[15] Veronika Kudermetova vs. Sloane Stephens

A champion here five years ago, Stephens continued her bid toward another title run. The unseeded American defeated Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-3, 6-4. Tomljanovic led by a break, and held a game point at 4-3, 40-30, before Stephens reeled off 11 of the final 12 points to remain undefeated in six career clashes with the Australian.

"I just waited for my opportunities. I was still playing well and trying to show energy," Stephens said. "It worked out well. I kind of stomped when it was time."

For a spot in the semifinals, Stephens faces Kudermetova in a first-time meeting. The 23-year-old did not drop serve in cruising past Kurumi Nara, 6-0, 6-3. Kudermetova has won 14 matches (nine tournaments played) this season, compared to Stephens' four victories (six tournaments played).

Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith

 [1] Ashleigh Barty vs. Paula Badosa

Three showdowns with Shelby Rogers in 2021, three wins for Barty. The world No. 1 denied the hometown hero, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, to complete the final eight field. Barty, looking to add to last week's Miami triumph, gets Paula Badosa Friday. The Spaniard dashed McNally's hopes with a 6-3, 6-3 win, reaching her first 500-level quarterfinal in the process.