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Aussie upsets Pegula as Halep, Hurkacz fall at Washington

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Australia’s Daria Saville upset top-seeded defending champion Jessica Pegula 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday at the ATP and WTA Washington Open, where Hubert Hurkach and Simona Halep were also eliminated.

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World No. 88 Saville ripped through seventh-placed American in hot and humid conditions, while third-placed Romanian Halep retired, losing 7-5, 2-0 to Anna Kalinska due to illness.

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“I stayed very focused,” Saville said. “I was really good at managing energy. It was really hot. But I thought it was hot for everyone, so keep going.”

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Pole runner-up Hurkacs crashed out in the second round match of the US Open hard court, losing to Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).

Saville booked a quarter-final matchup against Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino, who beat Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

The Russian-born Australian, 28, won her only WTA title at the 2017 Connecticut Open but sent Pegula in the 98th minute, her second top 10 win of the year since defeating Ons Jaber in Indian Wells in March.

“Everyone thinks I’m here to win the tournament and I’m no different,” Saville said. “Now I play very good tennis. I want more”.

Saville dropped to No. 627 in the world rankings after an Achilles tendon surgery that left her sidelined for most of last year. She has now advanced to her third quarter-final of the year behind Miami and Guadalajara.

“I’m happy,” Saville said. “It creates a good reputation. Players will say, “She plays well. She has some good victories this year.”

Ruusuvuori, who should now achieve one career high with a ranking of 43rd, robbed Gurkacs of all four chances for break points to advance after one hour and 44 minutes.

“I was just trying to hang on and stay as tough as possible,” Ruusuvuori said. “Long plays are very exhausting and you start to feel dizzy during the points. Very hard”.

His opponent in the third round will be Sweden’s Mikael Ymer, who edged out 15th seed Aslan Karatsev 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 after knocking out three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in the first round.

Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka edged out Australian Alex De Minor with the 11th seed 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2. The next opponent of the 96th racket of the world will be Karen Khachanov, who took seventh place.

Third seeded American Taylor Fritz beat Australian Alexei Popyrin 6-4, 6-3 to book a third round matchup against 16th seed Briton Daniel Evans.

World number 13 Fritz after a five-set Wimbledon quarter-final loss to Rafael Nadal and two weeks in boots with a stress fracture in his left foot.

“This was spectacular. No pain. This is a really good sign,” Fritz said. “Gives me a lot of confidence that everything will be fine and I’m not going to accidentally break my leg, as I feared.”



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