Dubai: Two-time Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and second seed Carla Suarez Navarro moved one step away from an entry into the main draw at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open with victories on Sunday.
Wild card entrant Kuznetsova — winner of the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open — spent under an hour on Court No1 as she helped herself to a 6-2, 6-2 win over fellow Russian Daria Gavrilova in the morning.
On the adjoining court, Spain’s Suarez Navarro had an equally easy 6-0, 6-2 win over Olivia Rogowska from Austria.
A losing finalist in Dubai in 2008, when she went down in three sets against Elena Dementieva, Kuznetsova will now take on Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain in the final round of qualifying on Monday.
Suarez Navarro, who did not even break sweat in her match against Rogowska, was pleased with the way she has been shaping up in the singles qualifying. “The idea is to take one match at a time and hopefully I will return even stronger for tomorrow’s final match to enter the main round of this competition,” the Spaniard said.
Sunday’s second round of qualifying witnessed a couple of retirements and one walkover. Third seed Elena Vesnina retired while trailing wild card entrant Ekaterina Bychkova 5-7, 1-3, while China’s Jie Zheng advanced while leading Japanese Ayumi Morita 1-6, 6-1, 2-0.
The lone walkover came from Romanian Simona Halep after she forfeited the match in favour of Daniela Hantuchova, who will now meet Suarez Navarro in today’s final round of qualifying.