|clockwise, from top left: Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens, Aryna Sabalenka, Simona Halep (all photos by Daniel Ward)|
World number 1 Simona Halep had to play twice today. In her first first match, she defeated Ash Barty 7-5, 6-4. In her quarterfinal, she defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-1. The Rogers Cup champion will next face Aryna Sabalenko, an unseeded upstart from Belarus who has been going after top players. So far, in Cincinnati, she has knocked out Jo Konta, 9th seed and 2016 champion Karolina Pliskova, 6th seed Caroline Garcia, and 13th seed Madison Keys.
Her match tonight against Keys marks the first time that Sabalenka has won in straight sets in this tournament. She's an exciting and confident player, and we should expect a good match.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova has reached the final four, having played her most dramatic and exciting match today, against Elise Mertens. Kvitova, who is seeded 8th, will face the unseeded (please don't let that fool you) Kiki Bertens. Bertens, once known as a clay court specialist, has torn up that script and has become a threat on every surface. She gone after the top 10 in a way that must surely make her one of the last players that anyone wants to see on the other side of the net.
In the meantime, both the number 1 and number 2 seeds were knocked out of doubles today. French Open and Wimbledon champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova were defeated by Elise Mertens (the busiest woman in Mason today!) and Demi Schuurs, and Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic were defeated by Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova.
Scattered thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow, so there will most likely be more interruptions.