Dubai: Simona Halep and Casey Dellacqua were one step away from making into the main draw with convincing wins against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Ayumi Morita on the second day of qualifying at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Dellacqua dumped Japan's Ayumi Morita 6-0, 6-3 while Halep helped herself to a 6-1, 6-1 over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez — her second emphatic win in as many days following her 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Alla Kudryavtseva on Saturday.
She will face final qualifier with Iveta Benesova, a 6-3, 6-2 winner against Greek Eleni Daniilidou.
"I am feeling the ball well, and I am here after doing so well in Doha," Halep told Gulf News. "Besides, I like Dubai," she explained.
Last week, Halep went through to the main rounds and progressed all the way till she was stopped in the third round by world number one and top seed Victoria Azarenka.
"I felt good in Doha and am pleased with the way things went there. I am more than happy to go through the qualifiers and keep on improving my game for the bigger battles ahead," the Romanian added.
Dellacqua too was pleased with the way things went for her against the Japanese. "For sure this is the toughest qualifying rounds where you are bound to play against a top-50 player. It's tough out there, but this is the way it is," the Australian said.
Also advancing to the final round of the qualifiers was Mona Barthel with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 win against Bojana Jovanovski, and former world number 21 Aleksandra defeated Kateryna Bondarenko with a similar 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 victory.
French Open junior winner Ons Jabeur went down in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 to Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, who now meets Halep in the decider today, while Iveta Benesova made light work of veteran Daniilidou 6-3, 6-2.
Casey Dellacqua bt Ayumi Morita 6-0, 6-3; Simona Halep bt Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 6-1; Mona Barthel bt Bojana Jovanovski 4-6, 7-6, 7-5; Virginie Razzano bt Kristina Barrois 6-2, 4-6, 6-2; Aleksandra Wozniak bt Kateryna Bondarenko 6-7, 6-3, 6-1; Anastasia Rodionova bt Tamira Paszek 6-4, 6-4; Iveta Benesova bt Eleni Daniilidou 6-3, 6-2; Arantxa Rus bt Ons Jabeur 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.