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Anisimova upsets top seed Sabalenka in Charleston

The former French Open semi-finalist set up a quarter-final against countrywoman Coco Vandeweghe at the WTA Charleston Open

Amanda Anisimova at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Amanda Anisimova at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Rising American Amanda Anisimova upset top seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets to advance to the quarter-finals of the WTA Charleston Open on Thursday.

The 20-year-old, who reached the French Open semi-finals in 2019, bounced back from the loss of the first set to beat the world No 5 Sabalenka 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 53 minutes. This was Anisimova’s third win in as many meetings over the Belarussian.

Sabalenka, who began the season as world No 2 and a challenger for Ash Barty’s No 1 ranking, continued to be troubled by her serve, hitting 10 double faults during the match. The Belarusian is now 7-8 for the season and has reached only one quarter-final on the tour in 2022.

After struggling due to the sudden death of her father in 2020 and injuries last year, Anisimova is enjoying a good run in 2022. She won her second career singles title in Melbourne in January and is now 13-5 for the seaosn.

Having started the season at No 48, the former world No 21 is up to No 47 in the latest rankings and is projected to return to the top 40 next week.

Anisimova meets lucky loser Vandeweghe next

The American next meets lucky loser CoCo Vandeweghe, who upset sixth seed Jessica Pegula 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to score her first top 20 win in nearly four years.

Third seed Karolina Pliskova, still finding her feet after missing the first two months of the season due to injury, was also knocked out of the WTA 500 event, which is played on green clay. The former world No 1 was beaten 6-3, 6-1 by Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Second seed Paula Badosa, who could move to No 2 in the rankings next week based on her results here, came back from the brink to beat American Clare Liu 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 while fourth seed Ons Jabeur scored a 6-3, 6-2 win over Irina Camelia-Begu.

Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, seeded No 10, beat ninth seed Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 while 12th seed Alize Cornet was defeated by Anhelina Kalinina 7-6, 7-5.

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