A dramatic day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships saw defending champion Garbine Muguruza taken to three sets by qualifier Katerina Siniakova, Ons Jabeur edge past Vera Zvonareva, but No3 seed Paula Badosa beaten by qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse.
Muguruza had to fight off a spirited challenge by Siniakova, who held a point to take the opening set after breaking to lead 5-3, but she double-faulted twice to concede her serve, and Muguruza went on to take the tiebreak
The Czech Siniakova always held the advantage in the second set, and it was not until late in the third that Muguruza finally took control to claim the win, 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-2.
The defending champion will next player Dayana Yastremska, who beat the unseeded Victoria Azarenka, 6-3 6-4, while the first potential seed in Barbora Krejcikova’s quarter, Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, retired at 0-3 down in the second set with dizziness after taking the first set 6-2 from qualifier Marketa Vondrousova.
Jabeur overcame veteran Zvonareva, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, with the outcome in the balance until the final ball. Zvonareva opened the door by serving two consecutive double-faults that allowed Jabeur to break to lead 6-5 in the final set, but the Tunisian then had to fight off three break points before securing victory on her second match point. She next plays Jessica Pegula.
Badosa, up to a career-high No5 after winning the Sydney title last month, struggled to contain a determined Ruse. The Romanian world No 59 served for victory at 5-4 in the second set before losing the next three games. But, rather than becoming deflated, Ruse dug in, and broke to lead the final set 5-4, this time closing out the match, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. She next plays compatriot and former champion—though unseeded this week—Simona Halep.
Another former champion, Elina Svitolina, seeded 10, beat the promising Egyptian Mayar Sherif, 6-2, 6-3.
Sherif showed her potential by winning the 2019 African Games, and is the first Egyptian woman to reach the top 100 and the first to reach the main draw of a Major.
Svitolina now plays lucky loser Jil Teichmann, who beat Elise Mertens, 6-2, 6-4.
Also on Tuesday, top seed Aryna Sabalenka eased past qualifier Marta Kostyuk, 6-4, 6-1, but the 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin was overwhelmed, 6-1, 6-2, by Jelena Ostapenko.
Source: Sport Review