2021 Viking International

Women’s Preview: Sabalenka is sole seed in last eight

Belarusian ace seems set to claim a 11th career crown

Aryna Sabalenka is the only seed to survive yesterday’s remarkable day of upsets after she steamed past American Alison Riske 6–1 6–4 in 67 minutes to take one step closer to the final.

The Belarusian, whose best display on the hallowed grass at Wimbledon was winning a 1st Round match four years ago, has raced into the quarter-finals and next faces Italian Camila Giorgi, a regular at Eastbourne and extremely popular with the fans.

Yet Sabalenka will be the overwhelming favourite to capture the Viking International Eastbourne, aiming to add to her 10 WTA Tour titles, after all of the other seeds were toppled.

London-based Ukraine Elina Svitolina, the no.2 seed, was edged out 6–4 7–6(3) in 98 minutes by Kazakh Elena Rybakina whose reward is a clash with lucky loser Anastasija Sevastova.

Latvian Sevastova, beaten in the qualifiers, brilliantly bounced back from dropping the opening set to register a spectacular 4–6 7–5 6–2 success to defeat American teenager Cori “Coco” Gauff in 111 spellbinding minutes.

Sevastova’s compatriot Jelena Ostapenko, a former French Open champion, had a real ding-dong against Tunisian ace Ons Jabeur but progressed 5–7 6–4 6–3 in 104 minutes. Jabeur, who claimed her first career title last week at the Viking Classic in Birmingham, simply ran out of steam in the decisive set.

Ostapenko faces Daria Kasatkina, who finished runner-up to Jabeur in Birmingham. The Russian fought back from a set down to upset Poland’s no.4 seed Iga Swiatek 4–6 6–0 6–1 to register her 13th WTA Tour triumph over a top 10 player.

Estonian Anett Kontaveit and Swiss star Viktorija Golubic will face-off for the remaining semi-final berth. Kontaveit rapidly shocked the Canada’s no.3 seed Bianca Andreescu with a controlled 66-minute victory 6–3 6–3. Qualifier Golubic took 91 minutes to account for compatriot Belinda Bencic in an entertaining match that ended 6–4 6–4.

Anett Kontaveit v Viktorija Golubic
Jelena Ostapenko v Daria Kasatkina

Elena Rybakina v Anastasija Sevastova
Aryna Sabalenka (1) v Camila Giorgi

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