WASHINGTON (REUTERS, AFP) – The Citi Open in Washington lost two of its top players on Wednesday (Aug 3) when Australian Daria Saville ended Jessica Pegula’s title defence in the second round while former world No. 1 Simona Halep was forced to retire mid-match due to illness.
Former top-20 player Saville was ranked 627th in the world in February after missing most of the 2021 season following an Achilles tendon surgery but she has regained ground quickly to reach be world No. 88 now.
Saville defeated top-seeded American Pegula, ranked seventh in the world, 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday – her second win this season over a top-10 player – in sweltering conditions to continue her progress.
“Every top-10 win is up there,” said the 28-year-old, who had defeated then ninth-ranked Ons Jabeur at Indian Wells in March.
“I definitely, like, thought about it before the match and said to my coach, ‘hey, let’s get another top-10 win here’.
“I’m happy. I think that creates good reputation and players are going to say, ‘She’s playing well. She has had some good wins this year’.”
Two-time major winner Halep, seeded third at the WTA 250 event, was trailing 7-5, 2-0 against world No. 71 Anna Kalinskaya when she decided she could no longer continue.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Paula Badosa survived a scare on the way to a 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) victory over US qualifier Elizabeth Mandlik on Wednesday in the WTA hard-court tournament in San Jose, California.
Badosa will next face the winner of Thursday night’s marquee clash between four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and sixth-seeded American Coco Gauff.
Third-seeded Tunisian star Ons Jabeur, playing her first match since her historic runner-up finish at Wimbledon, pulled away late to beat American Madison Keys 7-5, 6-1.
Jabeur will face either Veronika Kudermetova or Claire Liu in Friday’s quarter-finals.