Anisimova ousts top seed Sabalenka in Charleston

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — American Amanda Anisimova rallied after losing the opening set to defeat top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and reach the quarterfinals of the Charleston Open.

In another surprise, CoCo Vandeweghe also reached the round of eight by defeating U.S. countrywoman and sixth-seeded Jessica Pegula 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Ons Jabeur, whose match was suspended because of rain and lightning with her leading 6-3, 5-2 returned to win the one game and finish off Emma Navarro.

Sabalenka had won her first match in nearly six weeks and took the opening set without too much of a struggle. But Asimova, 20, who is ranked 47th in the world found her rhythm after the break as Sabalenka began to make mistakes.

Sabalenka had two straight double faults to trail 5-3 and Anisimova was able to serve out the set.

Anisimova continued her run in the deciding set, breaking Sabalenka’s serve twice for a 4-0 lead. Sabalenka closed to 5-4, but Anisimova closed out the match with her sixth ace and improved to 3-0 all time against the world’s fifth-ranked player.

Anisimova was thrilled with her third match victory in as many days. She’ll face Vandeweghe to reach the semifinals.

“It’s a pretty good result, like in the quarterfinal, and especially against a top seed,” Anisimova said. “It’s a big confidence boost.”

Jabeur, of Tunisia, had hoped to squeeze in more tennis and wrap up the match. She only needed a few minutes – and four points – to finish off Navarro, the American. Jabeur has a third-round match with Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.

The tournament has been affected by bad weather all week. Afternoon matches were suspended for close to two hours as a storm passed through the Daniel Island facility.

Things are forecast to dry out on through the championship match.