Western & Southern Open 2017: Grigor Dimitrov, Caroline Wozniacki Advance

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 16, 2017

Aug 16, 2017; Mason, OH, USA; Venus Williams (USA) reacts during a stop in play against Ashleigh Barty (AUS) during the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 Western & Southern Open continues to roll on Wednesday with second-round action on the men's and women's sides.

Tuesday saw Tomas Berdych, David Goffin, Jelena Ostapenko and Agnieszka Radwanska upset by unranked opponents. Wednesday features the first appearance of Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova, the top seeds on the men's and women's side.

Here are the results from Wednesday's matches.

     

Men's Draw

No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov def. Feliciano Lopez, 7-6, 6-4

David Ferrer def. Janko Tipsarevic, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1

Yuichi Sugita def. Joao Sousa, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1

No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta def. Mischa Zverev, 6-3, 7-6

Karen Khachanov def. Thomas Fabbiano, 6-2, 6-2

Juan Martin del Potro def. Mitchell Krueger, 6-4, 6-4

Nick Kyrgios def. Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-3, 7-6

Frances Tiafoe def. No. 4 Alexander Zverev, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

Nikoloz Basilashvili def. Christian Harrison, 6-3, 6-3

Albert Ramos-Vinolas def. No. 16 Gilles Muller, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

No. 1 Rafael Nadal def. Richard Gasquet, 6-3, 6-4

Adrian Mannarino def. No. 15 Sam Querrey, 6-2, 7-6 (4)

     

Women's Draw

No. 16 Madison Keys def. Daria Kasatkina, 6-2, 6-1

No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Yulia Putintseva, 6-3, 6-4

No. 15 Anastasija Sevastova def. Roberta Vinci, 6-2, 7-5

Camila Giorgi def. Daria Gavrilova, 7-6, 5-7, 6-3

Ashleigh Barty def. No. 9 Venus Williams, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2

Julia Gorges def. Francoise Abanda, 6-4, 6-4

Carla Suarez Navarro def. Aleksandra Krunic, 6-2, 6-2

No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki def. Elena Vesnina, 6-2, 6-4

No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova def. Alize Cornet, 6-1, 6-4

Ekaterina Makarova def. No. 3 Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6

Sloane Stephens def. No. 14 Petra Kvitova, 6-2, 6-3

No. 1 Karolina Pliskova def. Natalia Vikhlyantseva, 6-2, 6-3

No. 5 Elina Svitolina vs. Lesya Tsurenko, 6-1, 6-4

     

Recap

Ashleigh Barty Holds Off Venus Williams

Ashleigh Barty earned one of the biggest wins of her career, knocking off Venus Williams 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 to reach the third round of the Western & Southern Open.

After dropping the first set, Williams appeared to turn things around with a 6-2 romp in the second set. The ninth seed was unable to capitalize on that moment or really sustain any kind of momentum. She had just three aces and six double-faults.

By comparison, Barty hit seven aces with two double-faults. The win is her first against an opponent ranked in the top 10.

After the loss, Williams gave credit to Barty and didn't make excuses for her disappointing performance.

"She found openings in the court, was super consistent, & she just played really well," Williams said, via WTA Insider. "I just have to give her credit."

Barty, 21, won her first WTA singles title in March at the Malaysian Open. She lost in the first round at the French Open and Wimbledon, so there is still plenty of untapped potential for the Australian that may come to fruition following her marquee win on Wednesday.

     

Grigor Dimitrov Gets Back on Track

Wednesday was an opportunity for Grigor Dimitrov to get himself back on track, at least for one day. He was terrific on serve with 11 aces and saved three break points against Feliciano Lopez in a 7-6, 6-4 victory.

With two singles titles under his belt, Dimitrov is having his most successful season since 2014 when he climbed all the way up to No. 8 in the ATP world rankings.

However, the 26-year-old has been going through a bad stretch for the last month. No one faults him for losing to Roger Federer in the fourth round at Wimbledon, but he followed that up with third-round losses against unranked opponents at the Citi Open and Rogers Cup.

Per tennis journalist Chris Goldsmith, Dimitrov can move himself back into the ATP top 10 with one more match win in Cincinnati.

Dimitrov has the potential to make a deep run this week and at the U.S. Open. He reached the semifinal at the Australian Open before losing to Nadal in a five-set match that lasted nearly five hours. Winning the Western & Southern Open would be the momentum boost he needs before going to New York.

     

Madison Keys Stays Locked In

Coming off a win at the Bank of the West Classic two weeks ago, Madison Keys continued her winning ways needing just 50 minutes in a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Daria Kasatkina to reach the Western & Southern Open third round.

This season has been a struggle for Keys. She didn't start playing in tournaments until March while rehabbing from wrist surgery, and she didn't advance past the fourth round in each of her first seven tournaments.

Things finally clicked back into place for the American star when she defeated ranked opponents in three straight matches, including Garbine Muguruza and CoCo Vandeweghe, at the Bank of the West tournament.

Keys overwhelmed Kasatkina with seven aces in dropping just three games over two sets. She also hit 64 percent of her first serves in play, with 77 percent of those going for winners. She is getting hot at the right time to turn what started as a difficult season into a tremendous success.

     

Angelique Kerber's Slump Continues

The season-long issues for Angelique Kerber continued with a three-set loss against Ekaterina Makarova in the second round on Wednesday.

Neither player controlled the tempo of the match, which lasted more than 2.5 hours. Makarova held a slight 6-5 edge in aces, but she also had twice as many double-faults (six to three) as Kerber.

Makarova didn't put Kerber away until her eighth match point, and it came after a terrific back-and-forth rally between the two:

This was another statement win for Makarova, who won her first tournament in three years at the Citi Open. She did lose in the third round at the Rogers Cup against Lucie Safarova, an event sandwiched between the Citi Open and Western & Southern Open.

Kerber has been unable to break out of her 2017 funk. The world's third-ranked player has failed to win a singles tournament this season after seven combined victories the previous two years, and Wednesday's defeat marks her third straight loss before reaching the quarterfinals.