On Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the Barnes Tennis Center, three Americans advanced to today’s quarterfinals at the 2023 Cymbiotika San Diego Open women’s tennis tournament: Danielle Collins, Qualifier Emma Navarro, and Sofia Kenin.
Collins and Latvian Jelena Ostapenko took Court 2 in the afternoon. Ostapenko, known for having as many unforced errors as winners in her game, won the first, 6-2. Collins stormed back, winning the next two sets 6-3, 6-4 to punch her ticket to the quarters.
Navarro outlasted Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 7-5, 6-4. The match featured 10 breaks of serve. Navarro claimed all six of the opportunities that came her way.
The 2020 Australian Open winner Kenin overcame a shaky first set to defeat fellow American and qualifier Katy Volynets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. Currently on a comeback after suffering injuries in 2023, Kenin is looking to get back to her career-high ranking of 4 from 2020.
After receiving a bye in the round of 32, world #9 Maria Sakkari beat qualifier Camila Osorio, 6-3, 2-2, due to retirement from a right thigh injury. Sakkari, from Greece, is traveling without her team and coaches. She was asked about today’s match play. She shared, “I don’t think tennis-wise I was playing great, to be honest. I was missing a lot of balls… but I would take a bad tennis day [over] a good mental day instead.”
World #7 and crowd favorite Ons Jabeur contested #27 seed Anastasia Potapova. Both players struggled to hold their serve as there were 11 breaks in the match. Serving at 5-4, Potapova broke Jabeur to win the first set, 6-4. Jabeur fought back in the second to get to 6-6, but the effort was not enough. Jabeur struggled with her serve, double faulting twice and losing the tiebreaker, 4-7. Potapova won the match, 6-4, 7-6(4).
World #13 Barbora Krejcikova hit sidelines for cross-court and down-the-line winners and showed off her doubles acumen at the net to win the first set 6-3 versus Anelina Kalinina. Games were hard to come by, however, as most went to deuce multiple times. The average number of points per game was an astonishing 9.6 (consider that a player can win a game with only 4 points). Through five games of the second set, Krejcikova went on a tear, breaking Kalinana’s serve three times and then holding her own twice to take a 5-0 lead. Krejcikova then double faulted twice to get broken while Kalinina held her serve for the first time in the set to close the gap to 2-5. After going down love-40, Krejcikova served two aces and a winner to get back to deuce, eventually winning the set and match, 6-3, 6-2.
In the first evening matchup, #10-ranked Caroline Garcia played Sloane Stephens. Aggressive hitting by both players characterized the back-and-forth match. Garcia won the opening set, 6-3, while Stephens rebounded by capturing the second 3-6. Garcia was dominant in the third, with a 6-1 decider. The day ended with Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia playing Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in a thriller. Haddad Maia took the first set 7-5. Kostyuk mounted a fierce comeback, winning the second set in a tiebreaker. Haddad Maia finished strong in the final set to take the match, 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-2.
Fans around San Diego shared their joy at having the tournament in town. For example, Coronadans Don and Narelle Pettee shared their thoughts about the day’s matches. Don Pettee shared how he learned more about his own game when watching the professionals, “I was surprised at how uniform the toss technique was on all of the serves I saw. I know what I need to practice!” Narelle Pettee described what she appreciated about the nature of the matches, “All the matches were so different from each other—the contrasting styles of Jabeur—Potapova, and the power versus power of Collins-Ostapenko. The ebb and flow of focus and emotions sets the winners apart.”
Coronado Times writer Jennifer Velez was able to attend yesterday and exclaimed, “It was amazing to see Ons Jabeur play, especially since I had just learned all about her on the Break Point docuseries on Netflix.”
Tom Baker, from Pacific Beach, and his wife were out enjoying the tournament. He shared, “We’ve been here every year they’ve had the tournament. It’s amazing the caliber players they get. I played some USTA tournaments on this court so it’s good to see people on the same court who really know what they’re doing. It’s a fan-friendly environment, too.”
Katie Schenkel of Ocean Beach shared what draws her to the tournament every year, “Seeing world-class tennis in your backyard is amazing. Getting to see the players’ athleticism up-close is awe-inspiring.”
The number 1 doubles seed Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova played Wednesday evening, winning in two, 6-4, 6-2 over Alexandrova and Sasnovich. Collins joins Rancho Santa Fe’s Coco Vandeweghe in the doubles part of the competition. They won their opening round Tuesday and advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinals.
To learn more and purchase tickets, go to wtasdopen.com. Readers can use the code coronadotimes10 for a 10% discount on all tickets. Quarterfinals are held on Thursday, September 14. The tournament runs through Saturday, September 16.
Thursday, Sept. 14 – Quarterfinals
BARNES STADIUM Singles starts at 11:30 AM
Anastasia Potapova vs Wildcard Sofia Kenin (USA)
Not Before 1:00 PM Danielle Collins (USA) vs Caroline Garcia (FRA)
Not Before 5:30 PM Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) vs Wildcard Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)
Maria Sakkari (GRE) vs Qualifier Emma Navarro (USA)
COURT 2 Doubles starts at 3:00 PM
M. Kato (JPN) / A. Sutjiadi (INA) vs T. Mihalikova (SVK) / Y. Xu (CHN)
A. Danilina (KAZ) / B. Mattek-Sands (USA) vs  S. Aoyama (JPN) / Z. Yang (CHN)
After suitable rest
WC D. Collins (USA)/C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs  L. Kichenok (UKR)/J. Ostapenko (LAT)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Semifinals
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Finals