NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Two-time defending champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic advanced to the Connecticut Open quarterfinals, beating Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday night.
Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon winner and a bronze medalist in the Rio Olympics, won 10 straight games after falling behind 3-1 in the first set. She will face Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. Makarova won her second-round match Tuesday.
Once Kvitova overcame her slow start and broke Bouchard’s serve to make it 3-2 in the first, she went on the attack. By the time she lost another game, she was leading the second set 5-1.
“I need a couple of games to find my rhythm,” Kvitova said. “I’ll never be the player who will wait for the (opponent’s) mistake.”
Bouchard said she started with an aggressive mindset, but started backing off to give herself more time to return Kvitova’s shots.
In hindsight, “I don’t think that was the right play,” Bouchard said. “She has a big game and when she’s on, she’s on. It’s tough to beat.”
Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens beat France’s Caroline Garcia 7-6 (3), 7-5 to set up a match against top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. Radwanska advanced Tuesday.
“It all came down to a few points today,” said Flipkens, a winner over Venus Williams in Rio. “It could have gone her way as well.”
Second-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy topped Croatia’s Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-2. Vinci will face Sweden’s Johanna Larsson, a 7-6 (1), 6-4 winner over American Shelby Rogers 7-6 (1), 6-4.
Asked about the earthquake that struck Italy on Wednesday, Vinci said her family wasn’t directly affected.
“It’s not an easy day for Italy, for the Italians,” Vinci said. “It’s a tragedy.”
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