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Tennis: Boulter upsets Haddad Maia; Pegula beats qualifier Niemeier to reach San Diego Open quarters


San Diego (US), Feb 29
British No.1 Katie Boulter stormed back from a set down to hand second seed Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia to advance to the quarterfinals at the San Diego Open.

The Brit registered a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Maia Haddad at the Barnes Tennis Center on Wednesday to reach her first quarterfinal at the WTA 500 level.

The victory was world no 49 Boulter's second Top 20 win of the season, having defeated Pegula at the United Cup. She will next face either 2022 finalist Donna Vekic or Canadian qualifier Marina Stakusic.

Securing victory in the quarterfinals would propel Boulter to her highest-ever world ranking. She is projected to enter the top 45 for the first time in her career.

In another match, Jessica Pegula, first match since the Australian Open, made a winning return to competition with a straight-set 6-0, 6-4 win over German qualifier Jule Niemeier.

Pegula lost just nine points in the first set and built a 6-0, 5-1 lead before Niemeier began to find her range. The German, who is ranked 126, powered through the next three games to close the gap. But the top seed American finally closed out the win after 64 minutes, finishing it in style with an outstanding backhand pass.

Earlier in the evening, Daria Saville scored the most dramatic win of the day, saving a match point to overcome Tatjana Maria 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-2 and advance to her first WTA 500 quarterfinal since 2022.

Ranked No.148, the Australian came through qualifying and has secured back-to-back main-draw wins for the first time since making the Hobart semifinals in January.

She will face either No.3 seed Emma Navarro or Katerina Siniakova.