WASHINGTON — Already brimming with confidence, Coco Vandeweghe said she was able to raise her game even more on Wednesday evening when she observed how her play had shaken her opponent.
Vandeweghe leaned on her strong legs to dispose of Aravane Rezai, 6-2, 6-2, and advance to the quarterfinals of the Citi Open at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Northwest Washington.
When solidified near the baseline, the 20-year-old Vandeweghe was able to grind her opponent down with strong returns that stayed low to the net.
"I felt after those long rallies that she kind of deflated a bit," said Vandeweghe.
Her serve made for a tough return, as she recorded 11 aces and just a pair of double faults. Often, Rezai had no time to react to the serve as all she could do was turn and walk to the other end of the baseline. Early in the second set, Rezai disputed the official's call and claimed Vandeweghe's serve didn't bounce in, nor did the previous three, she said.
"It can either make her fiery and angry and make her play better. Or it can make her so angry that she plays worse," said Vandeweghe.
Also in women's singles, Eugenie Bouchard of Canada rallied to win 12 of the last 15 games and down Olga Govortsova, 0-6, 6-1, 6-3. Bouchard, 18, fell into a three-game hole in the third set before she was able to ground her serve for the win.
She advances to meet 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens in a quarterfinal matchup of two of the sport's youngest starts.
Bouchard won the junior tournament in July at Wimbledon, while Stephens is ranked No. 50 in the world.
In the second round of men's singles, Tommy Haas won for the second straight day as he knocked off Leonardo Mayer, 6-4, 7-5.
He said he knew Mayer was an aggressive player who chases a lot of balls.
James Blake played with strength and poise to turn back Marco Chiudinelli, 6-2, 6-4. In the clinching game, Blake rebounded from a 40-15 deficit and forced a deuce with a 117 mph ace. He then raised his serve to 127 mph for a match-clinching ace.
Also on Wednesday, the tournament inducted the inaugural Hall of Fame class of the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation.
Donald Dell, who co-founded the event in 1969 and was a former Davis Cup captain, highlighted the class. Joining him was John Harris, Paul Robert Ignatius, Henry H. Kennedy Jr. and Peter Work.
Founded in 1955, the WTEF uses tennis as a tool to provide academic help to at-risk children.
"I started playing at the Armory in New York, in a similar program that stressed education and gives kids a chance to succeed
in life, not just in tennis, but by using their brains," said Blake.