Western & Southern Open 2017: Grigor Dimitrov, Simona Halep Advance

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2017

Aug 17, 2017; Mason, OH, USA; Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) returns a shot against Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 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 field at the 2017 Western & Southern Open is being narrowed down, with Thursday's men's and women's matches determining the quarterfinals set to take place Friday. 

Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova, the two top seeds, each won their first match on Wednesday in straight sets. They are back on the court Thursday looking to keep their momentum going against unranked opponents. 

Here are the results from all 16 quarterfinal matches from Cincinnati.

Men's Draw

No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov def. Juan Martin del Potro, 6-3, 7-5

Yuichi Sugita def. Karen Khachanov, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3

Jared Donaldson def. Nikoloz Basilashvili, 6-4, 7-6

David Ferrer def. No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-4, 6-4

No. 3 Dominic Thiem def. Adrian Mannarino, 7-6, 7-6

No. 14 John Isner vs. Frances Tiafoe

Nick Kyrgios vs. Ivo Karlovic

No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Women's Draw

No. 7 Johanna Konta def. No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, 6-3, 6-4

No. 4 Garbine Muguruza def. No. 16 Madison Keys, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6

No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki def. Ashleigh Barty, 6-4, 6-2

No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Carla Suarez-Navarro, 6-2, 6-4

No. 2 Simona Halep def. No. 15 Anastasija Sevastova, 6-4, 6-3

No. 1 Karolina Pliskova vs. Camila Giorgi

No. 5 Elina Svitolina vs. Julia Goerges

Sloane Stephens vs. Ekaterina Makarova

Recap

Simona Halep Rolls Past Anastasija Sevastova

Despite not playing at her best, Simona Halep's talent proved to be too much for Anastasija Sevastova. The Romanian walked away with a 6-4, 6-3 win. 

Halep hit four double-faults and had no aces, yet she worked around it with a first-serve percentage of 73 and saved 57 percent of break points. Sevastova also turned out to be her own worst enemy, like with this unforced error on match point for Halep:

Ranked No. 2 in the world, Halep has struggled to match her success in previous years. She has reached the quarterfinal in 10 straight tournaments but has just one victory during that stretch. A win this week would certainly help her confidence with the U.S. Open set to begin in less than two weeks. 

Caroline Wozniacki Keeps Building Momentum

Things are starting to come together late in the season for Caroline Wozniacki, who had little trouble in a 6-4, 6-2 win over Ashleigh Barty on Thursday. 

This was a simple and efficient victory for Wozniacki. She needed just 67 minutes to move into the quarterfinals, and she fired three aces to go along with winning 74 percent of her first-serve opportunities against Barty. 

Wozniacki has put together some momentum over the past month. The 27-year-old advanced to the final at the Ericsson Open and Rogers Cup, though she ultimately lost both times and is seeking her first title since the Hong Kong Open last October. 

Jose Morgado of the Record noted Wozniacki has yet to win more than four games in a set in any of her tournament finals this season.

She's had the most success in Grans Slam events at the U.S. Open, with two finals appearances in 2009 and 2014. Her upward ascent in the past two tournaments and now this week gives her hope for a long run in New York. 

Grigor Dimitrov Finally Bests Juan Martin del Potro

After starting his career with five straight losses against Juan Martin del Potro, Grigor Dimitrov got over the hump on Thursday with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over the Argentinian.

Dimitrov wasted no time putting del Potro back on his heels, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first set. The second set looked like it was going to go del Potro's way, as he stormed out to a 3-0 advantage after the first three games. 

Morgado did note del Potro appeared to be "sick and dizzy" during the match. Dimitrov was able to battle back in the second set, including saving three set points, before finally ending the match. 

Del Potro has battled his share of injuries over the past two years, most notably a wrist ailment that required surgery in 2016. He hasn't advanced past the third round in a tournament since the Italian Open in May. 

Dimitrov is still searching for consistency this season, though he has won multiple tournaments already for the first time since 2014. This win sends him to his first tournament quarterfinal since the Aegon Championships in June.