Emma Navarro beats Katerina Siniakova to reach quarterfinals of San Diego Open

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Emma Navarro beat Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 Thursday night, her 14th win of the year, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Cymbiotika San Diego Open.

It marked the No. 3 seed’s second win over the Czech in a matter of weeks, having also prevailed against Siniakova in the second round in Dubai.

“She’s obviously a great player, always puts up a great fight,” said Navarro, who captured her first WTA singles title earlier this year in Hobart. “She’s super talented and made it really tough on me a couple of weeks ago in Dubai and again here tonight. I struggled a little bit from time to time, but I’m happy with the win.”

The former University of Virginia standout, the NCAA singles titlist in 2021, is into the final eight in San Diego for the second year in a row. She won’t have much time to recover as she will next face Australian qualifier Daria Saville on Friday. But Navarro says she isn’t fazed by the quick turnaround.

“I love the grind,” she insisted. “I love to compete and come out on back-to-back days, putting my best foot forward.”

Anna Blinkova is fast growing accustomed to dramatic comebacks, the latest coming when the 25-year-old erased a 2-5 first-set deficit to upend fifth seed Dayana Yastremska, 7-6(6), 6-2. In January, the 51st-ranked baseliner famously saved six match points to upset world No. 4 Elena Rybakina at the Australian Open, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(20), in a match that featured the longest tiebreak in Grand Slam history. Earlier this week in San Diego, she rallied from a set and a break down to defeat former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

“In the beginning, she was playing great tennis. Very aggressive, very fast. I was late all the time. I was making mistakes because I was late. She was making winners all over the court,” said Blinkova, into her first quarterfinal of 2024. “I just kept on fighting. I was trying to find solutions. I tried to change the trajectory a little bit.”

For her efforts, Blinkova earned a matchup with top seed Jessica Pegula of the United States, against whom she is 0-2.

Donna Vekic remains on track for a return to the final in San Diego. The seventh seed from Croatia, a runner-up here in 2022, advanced via a two-hour, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 dismissal of the youngest player remaining in the draw, 19-year-old qualifier Marina Stakusic of Canada. Her next opponent will be Britain’s Katie Boulter.

“It was an interesting match,” said Vekic, who registered 27 winners to 25 unforced errors amidst swirling winds. “The conditions were tough. I don’t think I’ve framed so many forehands in my life, but I’m really happy to be through. She played an amazing match, fighting until the end.”

A hero in her homeland after leading Canada to its maiden Billie Jean King Cup title last year, Stakusic was making only the second main-draw appearance at the tour level.

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis