Wednesday’s third-round matches at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships featured just one three-setter as the winners mostly comfortably progressed into the quarterfinals. Jimmie48 was busy all day long and here are some of his photos with a short recap.
World No.36 Jessica Pegula continues her stellar season with a second dominant victory over sixth-ranked Karolina Pliskova in one week. The 27-year-old American defeated the 2015 Dubai finalist 6-0 6-2 in just 53 minutes to score her third Top 10 win in 2021. Pegula has dropped just eight games in three matches to reach the Dubai quarterfinals.
Playing alongside twin sister Kristyna Pliskova, Karolina also lost in doubles to Timea Babos and Veronika Kudermetova in the second round.
Pegula’s quarterfinal opponent will be tenth seed Elise Mertens, as the Belgian saw off Caroline Garcia 6-4 6-2. Mertens has also recently defeated Gracia en route to her sixth career WTA singles title at the Gippsland Trophy.
A 6-3 6-2 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova booked Barbora Krejcikova a place in the quarterfinal where she’ll face wildcard Anastasia Potapova, who upset sixth seed and 2019 Dubai champion Belinda Bencic 6-1 2-6 7-5. Krejcikova and Potapova will both be playing in the final eight of a WTA 1000 event for the first time.
The quarterfinals will feature another pair debuting at this stage of a WTA 1000 tournament: Coco Gauff vs. Jil Teichmann, their third meeting in the space of a month. Gauff leads their head-to-head 2-0 and 7-1 against players ranked outside the Top 50 this season.
Gauff raced past Tereza Martincova 6-4 6-2 in Wednesday’s third round and Teichmann eliminated Ons Jabeur 6-3 6-3 for her third Top 50 win of the season.
Third seed Aryna Sabalenka produced a dominant display to beat seed No.15 Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-2. All the Belarusian’s serve stats were between 70 and 80 percent and she fended off the one break point she faced.
In the highlight match of the day, a battle of Grand Slam champions, Garbine Muguruza recorded a surprisingly easy 6-0 6-4 victory over Iga Swiatek to book a spot in another blockbuster, a quarterfinal meeting with Sabalenka. The eighth-seeded Swiatek’s first serves were at just 29 percent in the opening set and she won only one out of 12 points on her second serve. The situation was somewhat improved in the second set, but not nearly enough for the Pole to challenge her opponent.
The ninth-seeded Muguruza is bidding for her third semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, having reached this stage in 2015 and 2018. The Spaniard defeated Sabalenka last week in the second round of the Qatar Total Open.
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