Dubai: Two seeds withered in succession on Day 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. Veronika Kudermetova, the 10 seed, was the first to fall, and she was followed by Beatriz Haddad Maja, the 11th seed, in first-round matches on Monday.
World No. 33 Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine saw off Qatar Open semifinalist Kudermetova with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 win, while World No. 70 Sorano Cistea of Romania accounted for Brazil’s Haddad Maja, winning 4-6, 7-6, 7-5. Both matches lasted more than three hours.
Kudermetova of Russia seemed to have picked up an injury and required courtside medical assistance before continuing. Kalinina, who wrapped up the first set, survived a crisis of form and accuracy in the second before recovering to take the third set and the match in three hours and three minutes.
This was Kalinina’s second win against a top 20 player this season, having beaten Petra Kvitova at the Australian Open. She will play Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska next.
On the Centre Court, Haddad Maja started well by clinching the first set, only for World No. 70 Cirstea to fight back, saving two match points in the second-set tiebreak. The Romanian continued to go for her shots despite being down 1-4 in the decider and was rewarded with a win in three hours and 29 minutes — the longest match of the tournament.
The 32-year-old, who had not beaten a top 20 rival since August, will play Czech Karolina Muchova in the second round.
After the match, an exhausted Cirstea said: “I fought really hard today and have nothing left. Beatriz played amazing, and sometimes tennis is not fair. You play for three and a half hours, and the difference is a point. But this is tennis; I’m happy to come out on the winning side, and I’m proud of the way I fought. This is what tennis is all about.”
Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia launched her defence of the Dubai title with an authoritative 6-1, 6-4 win over Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine. The 2017 French Open winner dedicated the victory to her mother, who’s celebrating her birthday on Monday.
India’s Sania Mirza was scheduled to take the court today, partnering American Madison Keys. Their match Round of 32 game against Kudermetova and Liumila Samsonova has been put off for Tuesday.
In the battle of Grand Slam winners, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan made short work of 2019 US Open champ Bianca Andreescu of Canada 6-3, 6-4. Ninth seed Rybakhina, who sought courtside medical assistance in the second set, said she tried to shorten rallies and focus on her serve. Andreescu tried to stay in the game, but the Kazakh packed too many punches.
Women’s singles (Round of 64):
S. Cirstea bt B. Haddad Maja (11) 4-6, 7-6, 7-5
K. Pliskova bt M Vondrousova 6-3, 6-4
A. Kalinina bt V Kudermetova (10) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5
L. Davis bt J. Teichmann 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
A. Bogdan bt L Siegemund 7-5, 6-3
K. Muchova bt B. Pera 6-1, 6-4
A. Sasnovich bt R. Masarova 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
V. Azarenka bt A. Pavlychenkova 6-3, 7-5
Y. Putintseva bt P. Martic 6-4, 0-6, 6-2
J. Ostapenko bt K. Zavatska 6-1, 6-4
S. Rogers bt C. Liu 6-4, 6-4
E. Rybakina bt B. Andreescu 6-3, 6-4.
Women’s doubles (Round of 32):
H Chan/LChan bt O. Kalashnikova/A. Panova 6-1, 7-6
S. Aoyama/M. Ninomiya bt S. Kenin/E. Yashina 6-1, 2-6, 10-5
L. Fernandez/B. Mattek-Sands bt A. Danlina/L. Stefani 1-6, 6-3, 11-9
Z. Yang/V. Zvonareva bt M Bouzkova/B Haddad Maja 6-1, 6-1
C. Gauff/J. Pegula bt M. Kato/A. Sutjiadi 4-6, 7-6, 10-2
M. Niculescu/K. Zimmermann bt L. Fruhvirtova/K. Kanepi 3-6, 6-4, 11-9