Eugenie Bouchard added a second huge scalp in the form of Angelique Kerber as her Madrid Open run continued to the quarter-finals.
Bouchard overcame Maria Sharapova in the second round and defeated another former world number one in Kerber on Tuesday, the German retiring with what appeared to be a hamstring injury with her opponent leading 6-3 5-0.
Defending champion Simona Halep beat Samantha Stosur, while Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kristina Mladenovic, Sorana Cirstea and Coco Vandeweghe were among the other players to secure a place in the last eight.
BRILLIANT BOUCHARD BLASTS KERBER
With world number one Serena Williams taking a break from tennis due to pregnancy, a void for a dominating figure on the WTA Tour has opened.
Bouchard, who has struggled for form since reaching the 2014 Wimbledon final either side of last-four appearances at the French Open and US Open, is producing the type of displays that could see her stake a claim for such a position.
The Canadian 23-year-old made light work of top seed Kerber, who continues to struggle for consistency in 2017, dominating her serve and forcing errors that ultimately led to her downfall.
Kerber will simply be hoping the injury she sustained in the second set will not put her hopes of competing at the French Open in jeopardy.
— WTA (@WTA) May 10, 2017
HALEP KEEPS DEFENCE ON TRACK
Third seed Halep is three matches away from retaining the Madrid Open, with a semi-final spot enough to send her up to fourth in the world.
Just as she did at the Miami Open in March, the Romanian overcame Stosur in a three-set battle to advance.
Halep drew 33 unforced errors from her opponent to complete a 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory and earn a quarter-final against Vandeweghe.
.@Simona_Halep edges out Stosur 6-4, 4-6, 6-4!
— WTA (@WTA) May 10, 2017
KUZNETSOVA WEIGHS IN ON SHARAPOVA
After eliminating Sharapova on Tuesday, Bouchard said she received multiple messages of support before taking on the Russian – who she labelled a “cheat” upon her return from a 15-month doping ban.
However, Kuznetsova does not believe there is a large anti-Sharapova contingent on the tour and feels her compatriot’s suspension does not need to be discussed further.
“I didn’t see Genie talking to players. I mean, Genie doesn’t talk much. That’s the way she is. She just goes, does her own thing,” said Kuznetsova after beating Wang Qiang 6-4 7-5.
“I don’t think the players at the locker room where I change [for seeded players, separate to unseeded], nobody talks about it. Like everybody is over it, you know?”
Kuznetsova and Bouchard will go head-to-head in the quarter-finals.
HOME HOPES DUMPED OUT
After Garbine Muguruza went out in the first round, Spain’s hopes of seeing a home talent win in Madrid were ended on Wednesday.
Carla Suarez Navarro won the opening set against Vandeweghe but ended up succumbing to a 5-7 6-4 7-5 defeat, while Lara Arruabarrena went down 7-5 6-2 to Anastasija Sevastova.
Sevastova will face Kiki Bertens – a 6-1 7-5 victor against Irina-Camelia Begu – in the quarter-finals and said of her opponent: “Kiki is a great clay court player – she played in the semi-finals in Roland Garros last year. I practised with her and know she is a good player, so it’s going to be tough.”