Washington, DC, USA (Reuters): Eighth-seeded Russian Liudmila Samsonova continued her title defense with a clean 6-1, 6-3 victory over Sorana Cirstea of Romania on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Mubadala Citi DC Open.
Samsonova won 25 of 29 (86 percent) first-service points as she continues her quest to earn back-to-back titles at the event, where she beat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final a year ago.
It took just 59 minutes for Samsonova to oust Cirstea, who only managed to save one of five break points.
In two other second-round matches, No. 6 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland swept the United States’ Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-4, and Ukrainian Elina Svitolina upset fifth-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina with a 6-2, 6-2 outing.
In a match between U.S. countrywomen, No. 3 seed Coco Gauff defeated Hailey Baptiste 6-1, 6-4. Another match pitting two Americans concluded the evening’s slate, with seventh-seeded Madison Keys cruising to a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Jennifer Brady.
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Indian Ankita Raina spoiled Barbora Strycova’s homecourt advantage by rallying from an early deficit to earn a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in a first-round match in the Czech Republic.
Strycova, a native of Pilsen, Czech Republic, tallied three aces and saved five of nine break points, but she let a 3-1, third-set lead slip away. Raina saved nine of 12 break points in advancing to the second round.
The day’s other matches were both second-round affairs, with Jacqueline Cristian of Romania cruising past Colombia’s Emiliana Arango, 6-4, 6-3, and Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl picking up a 5-0 win after German Jule Niemeier retired in the first set.