Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands moved into the quarterfinals after stunning fifth seed Maria Timofeeva at the Al Habtoor Challenge. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The conditions for ideal for a marathon encounter and Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands made the most of it to win a tough battle against Maria Timofeeva as seeds continue to tumble at the 26th Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Hartono was relieved after coming through a tough second-round encounter against the fifth seed Timofeeva 6-7 (10), 6-1, 7-5, the match lasting three hours and 9 minutes and the Dutch was delighted to play another day here.

Going all out

“This is amazing,” a relieved Hartono said after her win. “In the recent past I have struggled in such close matches. But today I was more than happy that I was able to find my way through and make it to another day here in ideal conditions. The key for me today was to stay more consistent and aggressive in my shot-making, and this paid off in the end,” she added.

Representing the University of Mississippi, Hartono is the niece of Indonesian players, Deddy and Lukky Tedjamukti. She also won the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship winner in 2018.

Nigina Abduraimova
Unseeded Nigina Abduraimova of Uzbekistan eliminated eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova to move into the last eight stage. Image Credit: Supplied

Eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova became the other seed to lose in the second round, going down 0-6, 6-2, 2-6 to unseeded Nigina Abduraimova of Uzbekistan.

However, holding up well was seed No 3 Rebecca Sramkova as she took less than an hour to breeze past Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech 6-1, 6-3, while Yulia Hatouka became the fourth entrant into the last eight stage with a smooth 6-4, 6-3 result against Croatia’s Tena Lukas, in Wednesday’s last singles match.

No pressure of expectations

Unseeded Abduraimova was pleased with her form against a more solid player like Makarova. “Moving into the quarter-finals is a good feeling, but even more pleasing is the way I managed to tackle Ekaterina,” Abduraimova said. “The plan is to just stick to my game without putting any expectations on myself. Things get tough if I overthink. I will just step out on court and let my game do the talking,” added the 29-year-old from Tashkent.

On Tuesday, red-hot Australian and fourth seed Arina Rodionova — who came here with back-to-back titles in the last two weeks — had joined No. 6 Tereza Martincova and former world No 2 Vera Zvonareva as the first major players to bow out of this tournament.

Slovakia's Rebecca Sramkova took less than an hour to breeze past Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech 6-1, 6-3. Image Credit: Supplied

Top seed Viktoria Hruncakova, second seed Daria Snigur and seventh seed Heather Watson will all be on court for their second round matches to decide the last four making it to the quarter-finals, on Thursday.

Simple target for the week

Slovakia’s Sramkova was in a mighty hurry to get off court as she breezed through her second-round match against Thai rival Plipuech in just 58 minutes. “I’ve not been feeling too good and have been taking antibiotics for the past few days now. So it was best to get the job done as soon as possible and get some additional rest,” Sramkova said. “But that aside, Dubai is one place that I love and feel so positive about. No wonder I have had some excellent results here in the past. The idea now would be to enjoy this moment and let it remain for the rest of the week.”

Meanwhile, in the doubles, Watson teamed up with Olivia Nicholls to win 6-4, 6-4 against Lola Radivojevic and Isabella Shinikova to enter the semi-finals, while India’s Prarthana G Thombare and Anastasia Tikhonova also landed in the last four stage with a 6-4, 6-3 win against the British duo Emily Appleton and Alicia Barnett.

Results (Day Three):

Singles: Arianne Hartono bt Maria Timofeeva 6-7 (10), 6-1, 7-5; Nigina Abduraimova bt Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 2-6, 6-2; Rebecca Sramkova bt Peangtarn Plipuech 6-1, 6-3; Yuliya Hatouka bt Tena Lukas 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles: Olivia Nicholls/Heather Watson bt Lola Radivojevic/Isabella Shinikova 6-4, 6-4; Prarthana Thombare/Anastasia Tikhonova bt Emily Appleton/Alicia Barnett 6-4, 6-3; Elena Pridankina/Ksenia Zaytseva bt Nigina Abduraimova/Natalija Stevanovic (walkover); Timea Babos/Vera Zvonareva bt Sarah Beth Grey/Arianne Hartono 6-1, 6-4.