Temperatures on Stadium Court reportedly reached a whopping 116 degrees on Thursday afternoon, but Simona Halep wasn’t fazed.
“This is tennis,” said the world No. 2 after taking out Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. “It’s the same for both of us.”
The heat was certainly not a problem for 17-year-old Bianca Andreescu. In fact, she brought some of her own, downing No. 2 seed Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-3. It is just the second WTA-level win of the Canadian’s career, and it made her the first player born in the 2000s to earn a top-20 win.
“I’ve worked very hard to get where I am right now and all the hard work is paying off,” Andreescu said. “My dream was to make history and that’s what I did today!”
Andreescu’s next challenge will come in the form of German Andrea Petkovic who reached her first quarterfinal of 2017 with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win over Genie Bouchard.
“It feels good,” said Petkovic, a finalist here in 2013. “It feels very hot and humid, but I played well here before, and I’m very happy to be in the quarters.”
Monica Niculescu and Sabine Lisicki are also moving on.
Rain rolled in again on Thursday night forcing a three-hour rain delay, but Kevin Anderson and top-seeded Dominic Thiem made sure the tennis was worth the wait. Anderson, who came in with a 5-0 record against the 23-year-old Austrian, was leading 3-0 before the deluge. When the players retook the court, it was a fight to the finish. Anderson fired 21 aces in the match, saving a match point before pulling off the upset 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(7) in two hours and 26 minutes.
Just a day after ousting No. 14 seed Steve Johnson, 21-year-old Daniil Medvedev was at it again. This time the Russian sent home No. 4 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2. His hot streak might very well carry him into the top 25 before the year is out.
World No. 200 Yuki Bhambri of India proved his win over defending champion Gael Monfils on Wednesday was no fluke. The 25-year-old backed it up with three-set victory over Argentine Guido Pella.
American wild card Tommy Paul wrapped things up with yet another D.C. upset as he took out recent Wimbledon quarterfinalist Gilles Muller. Currently sitting at No. 225 in the world, Paul is earning some valuable confidence – and ranking points.
The final match of the night made staying up past bedtime well worth it. No. 2 seed and 2015 Citi Open champion Kei Nishikori had only beaten Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro once in their previous six meetings, but he improved on that record Thursday night, knocking down the Tower of Tandil 6-4, 7-5.
Also moving on to the quarterfinals are Milos Raonic, Jack Sock and Alexander Zverev.