Barty, Stephens enter Charleston Open quarterfinals

The Australian Barty will face Paula Badosa of Spain while Stephens will take on Veronika Kudermetova for a spot in the semifinals.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty will face Spain's Paula Badosa in the quarterfinals- AP

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty continued her quest for a second straight title, rallying past Shelby Rogers to reach the quarterfinals at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston on Thursday night.

The top-seeded Barty hadn't played in an 11-month stretch from February 2020 until the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne in January due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rogers gave Barty a challenge, charging from behind to win the second set and tying things at 4-all in the third.

But the Australian won the last two games to close out the match, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, at the season's first clay-court event. Barty will face Paula Badosa of Spain on Friday for a spot in the semifinals. Badosa defeated American Catherine McNally 6-3, 6-3.

“It has been a very quick turnaround,” she said of changing surfaces. “I'm still allowing myself time to get used to that. But with each match, that will get better and better.”

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Others in the final eight include former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, who hadn't advanced to a tournament quarterfinals since the French Open in 2019.

Stephens ousted Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-4 and will play for a spot in the semifinals against Russian Veronika Kudermetova. Kudermetova, seeded 15th in the season's first clay-court event, topped Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-0, 6-3.

Kvitova bows out, Muguruza retires hurt

Also reaching the quarters is the youngest competitor here in 17-year-old American Coco Gauff, the 14th seed who defeated countrywoman Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-6 (2).

Gauff has advanced to the quarterfinal round in three of last four tournaments. She said when she lost several points in a row in the second set against Davis, she snapped herself back into the match.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, seeded third, fell to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, 6-4, 6-1.

The sixth seed, Garbine Muguruza of Spain, was ahead in her match with Yulia Puntintseva of Kazakhstan before retiring with a left leg injury.

RESULTS

Veronika Kudermetova (15), Russia, def. Kurumi Nara, Japan, 6-0, 6-3.

Danka Kovinic, Montenegro, def. Petra Kvitova (3), Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-1.

Yulia Putintseva (11), Kazakhstan, def. Garbine Muguruza (6), Spain, 0-6, 2-2, ret.

Ons Jabeur (12), Tunisia, def. Alize Cornet, France, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Coco Gauff (14), United States, def. Lauren Davis, United States, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

Paula Badosa, Spain, def. Caty McNally, United States, 6-3, 6-3.

Sloane Stephens (US) def. Ajla Tomljanovic, Australia, 6-3, 6-4.

Ashleigh Barty (1), Australia, def. Shelby Rogers, United States, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4.