SYDNEY, Australia - Eugenie Bouchard is through to her first WTA quarterfinals since March 2016 after a straight sets victory over No.3 seed Dominika Cibulkova at the Apia International Sydney.
The Canadian's brand of attacking tennis was in full swing against the reigning WTA Finals champ, and was just as vexing to Cibulkova as it was in the pair's previous encounters. Bouchard has won all of their three hard court matches, and she extended that streak today in her 6-4, 6-3 win.
"Every time I have played a match with Domi, we have had the toughest battles. I had to mentally prepare myself for that," Bouchard told press after her victory.
SYDNEY, Australia - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won an all-Russian battle with defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova to advance into the quarterfinals of the Apia International Sydney.
"I'm really happy, not only because she's defending champion, but also my fellow player," she said after the match. "She's Top 10 and has had a really incredible year last year. I knew it'd be a really tough match and I was just trying to play good tennis, and take this as prep for Melbourne."
Pavlyuchenkova had lost five of her last six encounters with her veteran compatriot, and things seemed to be moving in similar fashion to start Tuesday's match.
HOBART, Australia - Lucky loser Veronica Cepede Royg needed five match points but eventually prevailed over former World No.9 Andrea Petkovic to reach the quarterfinals of the Hobart International.
The Paraguayan recovered strongly from being blanked out of the second set, completing a 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 comeback to book her place into her first WTA quarterfinal since June.
"Petkovic is a great player, she's tall and so she has a great serve," Cepede Royg told press afterward. "It was a tough match, but I've had tough matches before and I think I know how to play against the top players."
He's now the wrong side of 30 and barely inside the world's top 10, but Rafael Nadal remains convinced he's still an Australian Open force.
Australia has never been the happiest stomping ground for Nadal, who has collected just one of his 14 grand slam titles at Melbourne Park.
The Spaniard returns this year having played just three ATP events since the US Open after a wrist injury curtailed the king of clay's quest for a 10th crown at Roland Garros and then wiped him out of Wimbledon.
Fifth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber brought his best tennis on Monday at the Apia International Sydney, recording a convincing 6-4, 6-4 win over a tricky opponent in Fabio Fognini.
Kohlschreiber landed 75 per cent of his first serves in the second set and controlled the baseline rallies throughout the match to prevail in one hour and 21 minutes. Next up for him is the winner of the wild card battle between Aussies Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
In other first-round matches, Australian qualifier Matthew Barton delighted the local crowd with a 7-6(3), 7-6(5) win over Kyle Edmund. In a match featuring no breaks of serve, Barton saved a set point serving at 4-5 and grabbed the final three points of the contest to prevail in one hour and 43 minutes. Watch Highlights
Day 1 at the ASB Classic in Auckland saw seventh seed Steve Johnson and sixth seed Feliciano Lopez move through their first-round matches on Monday.
Johnson opened up main draw action on Centre Court with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Stephane Robert. The American dropped just three points on his first serve during the match (28/31) and kept Robert on the defense throughout. Next up for Johnson is the winner between #NextGenATP star Karen Khachanov and Yen-Hsun Lu.
Lopez had a more difficult test against wild card and local favourite Michael Venus. The doubles specialist got the crowd involved by grabbing the opening set, but Lopez regrouped to score a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory. The Spaniard next plays the winner between wild card Artem Sitak and Jeremy Chardy.
HOBART, Australia - Top seed Kiki Bertens needed little more than an hour to brush aside Annika Beck and take her place in the second round of the Hobart International.
A sequence of seven straight games sent Bertens on her way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory, setting up a meeting with Galina Voskoboeva.
Bertens began the year on a losing note, succumbing to eventual champion Lauren Davis in the opening round at Auckland. Against Beck, however, she was soon into her stride overcoming an early break of serve to take charge of the contest.