Volynets def. Potapova to reach Austin quarters

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AUSTIN, Texas — Katie Volynets saved a match point and grabbed the last seven games to come back and beat third-seeded Anastasia Potapova 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 at the ATX Open on Wednesday to reach her first WTA quarterfinal.

Volynets, a 21-year-old born in California who is ranked 92nd, was just a point from defeat while trailing 5-0 in the third set and facing a break point. But she claimed the next three points to hold serve there and was on her way to the big turnaround.

“At 0-5, I was really like: ‘Please, not a bagel! I really don’t want to get bageled.’ And then I get that first game, and then I get more confidence rolling into the second game,” Volynets said. “And honestly, it was kind of quick.”

She wound up taking 27 of the match’s last 32 points.

“The match,” Volynets said, “was definitely a roller coaster.”

In January, Volynets qualified for the Australian Open and reached the third round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

Now Volynets will face Peyton Stearns or Mirjam Bjorklund for a spot in the semifinals at the inaugural edition of the hard-court tournament in the Texas capital.

The highest-seeded woman left in the field, No. 4 Sloane Stephens, beat qualifier Heather Watson 6-4, 6-4 later Wednesday. Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, will meet 88th-ranked Varvara Gracheva in the quarterfinals. It’s a rematch of a contest won by Stephens last week in Merida, Mexico.

Gracheva, who eliminated top-seeded Magda Linette in the first round in Austin, advanced Wednesday by defeating Anna Blinkova 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 in an all-Russian matchup.

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