WASHINGTON, D.C. – After four three-set matches through the qualifying and the first two rounds at the Citi Open, Canadian Rebecca Marino is looking for a first on Friday.
She will face unseeded Daria Saville for a spot in the semifinals.
Which, after four previous quarterfinal appearances – one of them since she returned from retirement – would be a first in the second half of her two-part career.
Marino, whose persistence paid off as she finally made it back to the top 100 (for a week) a few weeks ago in her return from a long retirement, will be back there again on Monday with her results so far.
If she can beat Saville, she would be in the top 90.
Marino has never played Saville, who also is no kid at 28. But Saville has missed much of the last couple of years with a bad Achilles injury. She, too, has busted it to get back into the top 100.
She currently sits at No. 88. And Saville (née Gavrilova) upset No. 1 seed Jessica Pegula in the second round, which eliminated a tough rival for Marino. But it also means it’s a great opportunity for both for a deeper run.
First outside of Quebec City since 2011
This is the fifth quarterfinal for Marino at the WTA Tour level.
As it happens, three of them came at the now-defunct Quebec City tournament – in 2010, 2011 and in 2018. It’s no surprise Marino would have done well there; the unusual indoor carpet there was lightning quick and perfectly suited to her game style.
The other was the only one so far outside of Quebec City, and also came at a now-defunct tournament. It was in Memphis, indoors on hard court, in 2011. And Marino made the final that year.
The Canadian said she has a terrible memory. But when she was asked about those two bits of trivia in a pop quiz, she came up aces.
With apologies for the lateness of the posting (hectic day in D.C. Wednesday, 12-hour odyssey back to Montreal on Thursday), here is what she said after her win over the solid Andrea Petkovic in the second round.
Also interesting were the reasons behind her wearing a ballcap – as opposed to so many of the women who just wear a visor that does nothing to keep the sun beating down on top of their heads.
Petko vs Marino a battle
It was steamy on the John Harris court when Marino took on Andrea Petkovic, who had eliminated No. 8 seed Clara Tauson in the first round.
It was well fought, with excellent spirit. But in the end, when Marino was bold on serve and unhesitant in pulling the trigger on her groundstrokes, she was the better player.
Here’s what it looked like.
There were a LOT of fist pumps in this one. Here’s a sample.
Can Marino take down the feisty Saville? It feels as though she has a good shot.
The weather late afternoon in D.C. is likely to play a role, too. Thunderstorms and the like from 3 p.m. on are likely.
Marino and Saville are third on the stadium court after noon.
The winner will take on either No. 6 seed Kaia Kanepi, or unseeded Anna Kalinskaya for a spot in the Citi Open final.