Ilya Ivashka, Emil Ruusuvuori and Mikael Ymer all took down seeded opponents – including No. 1 Pablo Carreno Busta – on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Winston-Salem Open.
Ivashka beat Carreno Busta 7-6 (2), 6-3, upending the world’s 12th-ranked player. That sent the 27-year-old from Belarus into Friday’s semifinals to face Russuvuori, a 22-year-old from Finland who beat 14th-seeded Richard Gasquet 7-6 (5), 6-1.
The winner of that semifinal will reach their first ATP Tour hardcourt final.
Ymer followed by beating 13th-seeded Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3 in the first night quarterfinal. He’ll face 15th-seeded Carlos Alcaraz, who became the only seeded player to win Thursday by beating Marcos Giron 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the day’s final match.
Ivashka, ranked No. 63 in the world, twice converted break-point opportunities while holding serve throughout the match against Carreno Busta, a US Open semifinalist in 2017.
Ruusuvuori beat Gasquet — a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist — to claim his fourth straight-set win in five tournament matches.
Ymer’s win came after he broke Tiafoe’s serve three times in the third set, ending the 23-year-old American’s run that had included a second-round win against Andy Murray.
Alcaraz also broke serve three times in his final set, including the final game.
The hardcourt tournament is a tuneup for the US Open, the year’s last Grand Slam tournament, which starts on Monday in New York.
Magda Linette overpowers top-seeded Kasatkina
Sixth-seeded Magda Linette of Poland beat top-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday to advance to the Tennis in the Land semifinals.
No. 51 Linette used precision shot-making and converted 5 of 6 break points in the quarterfinal at Jacobs Pavilion, avenging a loss to No. 27 Kasatkina three weeks ago in San Jose, California.
“I’m glad I was able to take a step back and take a look at me after that match,” Linette said.
“After I lost the last time we played, I was ready to be on the other side today.”
Linette decisively outplayed Kasatkina and outscored her 57-32, completing the upset with a cross-court winner from the left baseline. She will face Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in the semis of the inaugural WTA 250 tournament.
No. 74 Begu beat No. 99 Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-2, 6-4, holding her serve all nine times on her 31st birthday. Begu qualified for her first WTA hardcourt semifinal since 2018 in Shenzhen, China.
“I was really aggressive, serving well and moving well,” Begu said. “Hopefully, I can do it at least one more time here.”
Second-seeded Anett Kontaveit outlasted Olympic doubles champion Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the second-longest match of the tournament at 2 hours, 39 minutes.
No. 53 Siniakova trailed 4-3 in the second set before breaking No. 30 Kontaveit twice to force a third. Kontaveit won her second three-setter in Cleveland to move into the semifinals against seventh-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain.
No. 43 Sorribes Tormo was a 6-3, 6-1 winner over ninth-seed Shuai Zhang of China, who is ranked No. 49. Linette, Begu and Sorribes Tormo have not lost a set in their first three matches.
“It’s been amazing,” Sorribes Tormo said. “I thought I played a very complete match because she played pretty good. I’m having a lot of fun.”