Kvitova Takes Favorite Role as Lone Remaining Seed


By Nicholas McCarvel | Photo: Billie Weiss/Connecticut Open

And then there were eight. Thursday marks quarterfinal day at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, where No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova is the last standing after a series of upsets in the early rounds.

MORE: Updated Draws | Thursday Schedule | Men’s Legends Event

In the evening session, former Grand Slam champion Sam Stosur (pictured above) will face Kirsten Flipkens before the Men’s Legends Event returns for a second consecutive night, when Connecticut local James Blake meets former world No. 1 and US Open champion Andy Roddick.

Former Champ the Favorite Again
[2] Petra Kvitova (CZE) vs. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)
Stadium Court, 1pm – ESPN2
It’s an all-Czech matchup to start the day on Stadium Court, when the Wimbledon champion meets countrywoman Zahlavova Strycova in a quarterfinal tussle. It was at the All England Club that these two last met, Kvitova squeezing by her opponent in a tight second set to take the match. Kvitova leads their head-to-head 4-1, though Zahlavova Strycova’s lone win came on a hard court at Indian Wells in 2011.

[WC] Samantha Stosur (AUS) vs. [WC] Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Stadium Court, 7pm – Tennis Channel
A wild event is part of the reason why two wild cards have found themselves in the quarterfinals, though both Stosur and Flipkens are former top 15 members. Stosur won the US Open in 2011, and comes off a big win over No. 3 seed Genie Bouchard on Wednesday night. These two have met twice, each player winning one of the encounters, though Flipkens capturing the most recent in 2012.

Men’s Legends Event
James Blake vs. Andy Roddick
Stadium Court, Second after 7pm
Back come the men again on Thursday night as Connecticut native Blake returns, this time to do battle against a former foe – and long-time friend – in Roddick. Wednesday night Blake played another former No. 1, Courier, in an evening session match, and this time will get Roddick, a player that he was 3-9 against head-to-head. Blake won their last match in a final in Indianapolis in 2006, capturing it a third-set tiebreak.

MORE: James Blake’s Invitation to Fans | More Blake on Video

Also Don’t Miss:
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) vs. Alison Riske (USA)
Stadium Court, Second match after 1pm
The lone American remaining in the singles draw is Riske, a Pittsburgh native who is ranked No. 44 in the world and upset No. 6 seed Flavia Pennetta in the second round. Rybarikova scored an upset herself earlier this week, shocking No. 1 seed and defending champion Simona Halep in the second round. Rybarikova owns their only meeting, just a few weeks ago in Montreal.

Camila Giorgi (ITA) vs. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Stadium Court, Third match after 1pm
Speaking of upsets, both Giorgi and Muguruza have scored them in this tournament, the Italian beating Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 4 seed and four-time champion here, on Wednesday while Muguruza triumphed over seventh seed Sara Errani in the first round. Giorgi only their only meeting, which occurred last spring on clay in Madrid.

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