Sunday at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open was all about third-round action. Top two seeds Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina both fought off match points before advancing to the quarterfinals. Here’s a recap of the day and a selection of photos by Jimmie48.
Marta Kostyuk wasted just 53 minutes to defeat Tamara Zidansek 6-1 6-1 on Court 1. The Ukrainian’s quarterfinal opponent will be Sara Sorribes Tormo, who ended the run of Anastasia Gasanova 7-5 6-3.
Fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka extended her career-best winning streak to 12 matches with a 6-2 6-4 victory over seed No.15 Ons Jabeur. Sabalenka’s last loss happened in the third round of the 2020 French Open and Jabeur herself was the player who beat the Belarusian. In the quarterfinals, Sabalenka will play against sixth seed Elena Rybakina, as the Russian defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-4 on Sunday.
Ninth seed Maria Sakkari fired 33 winners, including 11 aces, and saved 12 of 13 break points to eliminate the more defensive Garbine Muguruza who posted just five winners in their third-round encounter. With the 7-5 6-4 win, the Greek is yet to drop a set this week. Next up for Sakkari will be top seed Sofia Kenin, who narrowly escaped a defeat to Yulia Putintseva, saving a match point en route to a 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 victory. Kenin made 57 unforced errors to Putintseva’s 43.
Second seed Elina Svitolina was another favorite on the brink of defeat. The Ukrainian recovered from 3-5 down in the decider and saved two match points in the tiebreak that followed before squeezing past No.17 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(8). In the quarterfinals, Svitolina will battle Veronika Kudermetova, who marched into the quarterfinals with a 6-4 4-6 6-1 win over fellow unseeded player Paula Badosa.