Birmingham PHOTOS: Barty, Venus, Goerges progress as Osaka falls to Putintseva

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Four players advanced to the quarterfinals on a strange-weather Thursday in Birmingham, wrapping up the second round at the Nature Valley Classic.

As our photographer Jimmie48 reports, at one point during the Jennifer Brady vs. Ashleigh Barty match it suddenly started raining for a few seconds, while full sunshine was out. The French Open champion Barty handled the conditions well and beat the American 6-3 6-1. In the afternoon match that followed on Ann Jones Centre Court, top seed Naomi Osaka was brushed aside by Yulia Putintseva, which opens the door for Barty to overtake the Japanese at the No.1 ranking, if the Australian lifts the champion’s trophy this week.

Afterwards, eighth seed Julia Goerges beat Evgeniya Rodina 6-4 6-3 in the second round, setting up a quarterfinal meeting with Putintseva, and closing the day was wildcard Venus Williams with her victory over sixth seed Wang Qiang 6-3 6-2, moving on to a clash with Barty.

Petra Martic, Jelena Ostapenko, Barbora Strycova and Kristyna Pliskova reached the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

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