After a somewhat disappointing turn of events at the 2016 Brisbane International on Tuesday, things were looking up in Queensland on Wednesday as the persistent rain had been replaced by plenty of Australian sunshine.
Wednesday had yet another surprise in store though, as Belinda Bencic failed to make the tournament’s quarterfinals. The Swiss rising star surprisingly lost to 20-year-old American Samantha Crawford in straight sets and another big-name player was sent packing early.
The afternoon session was highlighted by Victoria Azarenka’s second round match. Originally, the fans would have been treated to a cracking encounter against top seed Simona Halep, but the Romanian’s unfortunate withdrawal on Tuesday meant Azarenka would take on lucky loser Ysaline Bonaventure.
The Belgian talent seemed to be hell-bent to give the spectators a good show. Bonaventure gave Azarenka plenty of trouble early on, forcing a few very close games until the two-time slam champion’s experience and talent took control of the match, helping Azarenka to her second straight-set win of the new year.
In the evening, Garbine Muguruza started her Brisbane International campaign. Having a first-round bye, the Spaniard was the final player to start her 2016 season in Brisbane, but unfortunately, Muguruza’s first match of the season ended after just one set of tennis as the Spaniard had to retire with a foot injury, adding another retirement to the ever-growing list of players that have struggled with injury this week.
Muguruza’s retirement means Varvara Lepchenko will advance to the quarterfinals, playing Carla Suarez Navarro for a spot in the semis.
The other quarterfinal matchups at the Brisbane International will include Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova against Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic`s match against Samantha Crawford and Victoria Azarenka’s night-session match against Roberta Vinci.
Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog for all the latest from the Queensland Tennis Centre as we’re rapidly moving towards the first big final of the brand new season!