Wimbledon champ Kvitova ousted by Rogers Cup qualifier

 

Makarova knocks off second seed to join Williams sisters in quarters; Suarez Navarro bounces No. 4 Sharapova

 
 
 
 
Serena Williams is silhouetted in the late-day sun as she hits a forehand return during her win over Lucie Safarova at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Thursday. John Mahoney/THE GAZETTE
 

Serena Williams is silhouetted in the late-day sun as she hits a forehand return during her win over Lucie Safarova at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Thursday. John Mahoney/THE GAZETTE

Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

Maria Sharapova said she has plenty of time to sort out her game before the U.S. Open and that might explain her early departure from the Rogers Cup Canadian Open women’s tennis championships.

The fourth-seeded Sharapova had a month layoff after Wimbledon and the rust was apparent in a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 loss to 14th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

“I couldn’t find my rhythm,” said Sharapova, who struggled with her serve and made far too many unforced errors. She went on to say that she’s honing her game with an eye on the U.S. Open, which begins in two weeks.

Rain interrupted the match twice and, while it provided Suarez Navarro with some rest, she wasn’t particularly happy about the second delay after she took a 3-2 lead in the deciding set.

“I spoke to my coach and he told me to keep it simple and I was able to do that,” said Suarez Navarro, who won three games to close out the match.

Suarez Navarro’s next opponent will be unseeded American Venus Wiliams, who upset sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Five of the top eight seeds failed to reach quarter-finals and, with the exception of Kerber, all of them were playing their first tournament since Wimbledon.

Second-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic lost to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in another match that was interrupted by rain.

“I felt a little bit like being in England,” said Kvitova. “(Makarova) played well today, but it was difficult for me in my first tournament since winning Wimbledon

“My serve wasn’t really there. It helped me sometimes in key points, but it wasn’t there all match. My legs didn’t move all that well. I didn’t play that aggressively. She was the player who pushed me back.”

“It’s a really good win today,” said the unseeded Makarova. “We had so many matches against each other and every one was really tough, three sets or like 7-6, 7-6. Every time, we are fighting. It’s really tough to go out there and play against her.

“She just won Wimbledon so, of course, I’m really happy to come through here. First time here in this tournament I’m in quarter-finals. It’s really exciting. I really want to go tomorrow to fight again.”

Makarova’s quarter-final opponent will be qualifier Coco Vandeweghe, who surprised seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-6, 2-6, 7-5.

Vandeweghe had to go three sets against another Serbian, ninth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, Wednesday night.

“I feel like I need a nice, good sleep because last night’s match didn’t finish until after 1 a.m.,” said Vandeweghe. “ I didn’t get to sleep until probably three in the morning because you have to take care of all the things you need to with the physios, stretching, everything like that.”

The opening quarter-final match Friday will pit top-seeded Serena Williams against 11th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

Williams, who won the Bank of the West title last week in California, outslugged 15th-seeded Lucie Safarova 6-4, 7-5 to run her career record against the Czech to 7-0.

“I think I served great,” said Williams. “Yeah, I really needed to serve well today because she was just hitting unreturnable serves for me. So I was excited with my serve.

“Overall it was interesting. We didn’t really have too many long rallies. We both were just hitting lots of service winners or aces. So it was kind of hard to get a rhythm.”

Wozniacki cruised past Shelby Rogers, the American qualifier who eliminated fifth-seeded local favourite Eugene Bouchard on Tuesday. Wozniacki needed only 51 minutes to win 6-0, 6-1. Wozniacki hasn’t played a high quality opponent, but she has lost only six games over three matches.

Wozniacki is three years removed from being No. 1 in the WTA rankings, but she’s only 23 and she said she’s a better player than she was when she was on top.

“I think I always improve and I keep improving my game, so also I’m more mature and I make smarter decisions out there,” said Wozniacki. “At the same time, you know, the women’s tennis keeps improving as well so you need to keep stepping up. It’s getting tougher. The girls are hitting harder, making less mistakes.

It’s all about keep improving and keep moving forward.”

The last quarter-final match will see eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus face third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who ousted Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Azarenka defeated British qualifier Heather Watson 6-2, 6-4.

phickey@montrealgazette.com

 
 
 
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Serena Williams is silhouetted in the late-day sun as she hits a forehand return during her win over Lucie Safarova at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Thursday. John Mahoney/THE GAZETTE
 

Serena Williams is silhouetted in the late-day sun as she hits a forehand return during her win over Lucie Safarova at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Thursday. John Mahoney/THE GAZETTE

Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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