Cincinnati, Aug 19 (IANS) After back-to-back wins over former grand slam champions Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, England’s Emma Raducanu has been eliminated from the Western & Southern Open by America’s Jessica Pegula 7-5, 6-4.
In a clash between two of the world’s top 11 players, it was the 28-year-old Pegula who proved slightly too good for her 19-year-old opponent in a number of different areas, reports DPA.
Pegula was stronger both on serve and in her returns, winning 73 per cent (46-of-63) of her service points compared to 60 per cent (43-of-72) for Raducanu, while creating nine break point opportunities to Raducanu’s three.
She will now face the in-form Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals after the Frenchwoman defeated Elise Mertens 6-4, 7-5.
France’s Garcia has now won 10 of her past 11 matches, including a victory over world number one Iga Swiatek last month.
Swiatek’s loss to Garcia was considered a massive upset, as was her loss to Madison Keys on Thursday as the American shocked her 6-3, 6-4 in less than 90 minutes. Swiatek was only able to land 54 per cent of her first serves fair in an off showing for the 21-year-old superstar.
It was not a good day for the top seeds as world number two Anett Kontaveit also fell, going down to China’s Shuai Zhang 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a match where each woman won exactly 94 of the 188 total points.
World number five Ons Jabeur joined the early exits, losing to Petra Kvitova 6-1, 4-6, 6-0, and she will meet Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarterfinals after she defeated Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina prevailed 6-2, 6-4 against America’s Alison Riske, and in the last match of the night it was Aryna Sabalenka who triumphed over Shelby Rogers 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4.
Meanwhile, the prize pot for this year’s US Open will top USD60 million for the first time in the competition’s history, event organisers have announced.
The 2022 edition at Flushing Meadows gets under way on August 29 and runs for just under two weeks.
It was revealed on Thursday that USD60 million will be up for grabs, topping the previous record of USD57.5 million from last year, with both singles champions to receive USD2.6 million.
Players will be given USD80,000 for making the main draw and USD121,000 should they make it to the second round. Runners-up in the singles will pocket USD1.3 million.
In the doubles, the champions will receive USD688,000, the runners-up USD344,000 and the semifinalists USD172,000.