It was a mixed day for the big names at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Thursday as Wimbledon runner-up Angelique Kerber and fifth seed Simona Halep progressed, while Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska bowed out in the third round.
Kerber had to overcome a slow start, but she eventually got the job done against Elina Svitolina in a 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 triumph, while Halep had no such issues in her straight-sets win over 14th seed Karolina Pliskova.
Johanna Konta also progressed, while Svetlana Kuznetsova overcame fellow seed Petra Kvitova, but the third round proved the end of the road for Williams, who lost to compatriot Madison Keys, and Radwanska, who bowed out against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while Roberta Vinci was also knocked out.
KERBER WINS DESPITE STRUGGLE
It was far from easy for the second seed, but Kerber got it done after a marathon effort against 17th seed Svitolina.
Kerber copped a 6-1 hiding in the first set, and was in a precarious position as the second set went to a tie-break, but she managed to recover.
The German will hope the physical toll of the match – which lasted two hours and 15 minutes – will not cost her later in the tournament.
There were no such issues for Halep, who beat Pliskova 6-3 6-3 in just over one hour of play as she pounced on her opponent’s second serve.
Pliskova only put in 53 per cent of her first serves, and Halep punished her accordingly, winning 68 per cent of points returning the second.
Johanna Konta knocked out Varvara Lepchenko after her 6-3 6-2 triumph, while Kuznetsova was a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 winner over 12th seed Kvitova.
WILLIAMS BOWS OUT
Williams recovered well initially against Keys, but she still went down to her fellow American 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.
Radwanska was also beaten, suffering a 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 loss to 16th seed Pavlyuchenkova.
Vinci was the other big name to fall, as the seventh seed lost to the unseeded Daria Kasatkina 7-5 6-3.
Eugenie Bouchard also bowed out in the third round, as Kristina Kucova proved too good in their match that lasted over two hours, winning 3-6 6-4 6-3.
KEYS MOVES QUICKLY
It took Keys just 20 minutes to take the first set against Williams in their third-round clash as she answered everything her more-fancied opponent could muster with consummate ease.