As 16 players fought for their spot in the 2014 Rogers Cup quarterfinals on Thursday, two of the tournament’s highest seeded players failed to enter the round of the last eight.
Following Genie Bouchard’s unexpected exit two days ago, the tournament suffered the loss of another big fan favorite on Thursday as Maria Sharapova lost her third-round match against Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets.
Much like during her first match against Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday, Sharapova lost the first set and recovered to force a deciding set. This time, her opponent had the upper hand as the Spaniard sent the big fan favorite and reigning Roland Garros champion packing, much to the chagrin of the crowd.
Sharapova’s match was interrupted by several short rain delays but like all other players, the Russian denied that the weather was to blame for her performance on court.
Inside National Bank stadium, another top seed’s Rogers Cup title bid came to an end as Petra Kvitova fell prey to Ekaterina Makarova. After dropping the first set, Kvitova took the second, looking to set up another one of her trademark three-set wins.
This time, the story went differently as Makarova kept her cool and clinched the win, continuing what is a very promising US-tour for the Russian so far, following her semi final at the Citi Open in Washington just a week ago.
While the two reigning slam champions in the draw will play no further role in the 2014 Rogers Cup, some of the tournament’s top players lived up to their seeding position. Serena Williams won her match against Lucie Safarova in straight sets while Victoria Azarenka showed a commanding match against Heather Watson.
Despite playing with a thickly taped right knee, Azarenka made her first quarter final since the 2014 Australian Open in a season that’s all about overcoming injury for the Belarussian former world #1.
While Azarenka will meet Agnieszka Radwanska tomorrow, setting up a rematch of the Australian Open quarterfinal, the Williams sisters are both just one match away from setting up an all-Williams semifinal at the 2014 Rogers Cup.