After the first half of second-round matches at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, only one of four Americans advance, but the international stars here are big crowd pleasers. Ons Jabeur, Paula Badosa, and Daria Kasatkina join American Amanda Anisimova in the quarterfinals.
Daria Kasatkina, a 2021 finalist in San Jose, defeated Taylor Townsend 6-4 6-0 in the second round. Although Townsend may be an American, Kasatkina has no shortage of fans in the audience, many of them again cheering for her in Russian. Asked about her international fans here, the seventh seed told media, “for me, it doesn’t matter where they’re from, I’m just really thankful to them for coming and supporting me. This is incredible, that the people from different countries are coming and enjoying how I play.”
After the quick victory early in the day, Kasatkina was relaxed and ready to enjoy the afternoon. The 25-year-old told media, “I have the rest of the day free and tomorrow we’re gonna work on the things which were maybe not good today and to prepare for the next match.” Her quarterfinal match will be against either Aryna Sabalenka or Caroline Dolehide.
Paula Badosa defeated American Elizabeth Mandlik 6-2 5-7 7-6(5). Mandlik, Hana Mandlikova’s 21-year-old daughter, produced impressive tennis in only her second WTA main-draw match, but in the end, Badosa’s experience and composure under pressure made the difference. The 24-year-old Badosa elaborated, “I think the fight that I had and accepting every moment no matter what gave me the win.”
Although Mandlik is disappointed with the result, she is tremendously proud of how close she got to defeating the recent world number 2. She said after the match, “my belief is much higher than it was and I’ll just keep pushing from here.”
The 2:30 hour match was punishing for Badosa, who will face either Coco Gauff or Naomi Osaka in the quarterfinals. Asked about her plans for tomorrow, the Spaniard emphasized the need to rest, “I will play just a little bit, maybe 30 minutes, maximum 45, and then recover. I think I already played a lot today and tomorrow it’s a little bit more relaxing and making sure to be fresh for Friday.”
In the night session, Ons Jabeur defeated Madison Keys 7-5 6-1. At the tournament, Jabeur is challenging herself to play without her team on site to support her, and the results from the first match in the experiment are positive. The Tunisian explained after, “sometimes you just look at your team and you need to find answers, it was a little bit frustrating and I could have used some help obviously for the first set, but I was like, you’re on your own, you have to do it. I really love to challenge myself sometimes and be able to do those kind of things on my own.” The world No.5 did speak with her team before the match, but said, “for me, the main thing was on the court to manage my emotions better.”
The second half of second-round matches will be played Thursday. Coco Gauff will take on Naomi Osaka. This is only the fourth match in the budding rivalry, Osaka leads the head-to-head 2:1.