Dubai: The top two seeds lived up to form while the next two succumbed as the quarter-final line-up fell in place at the inaugural Fujairah International Women Tournament at the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum tennis complex in Fujairah on Wednesday.
Top seed Viktorija Golubic easily swept aside Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze 6-0, 6-4 to book her spot in the quarter, while second seed Clara Tauson from Denmark also sealed her spot with a 6-2, 6-0 win against South Korea’s Na-lae Han.
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Third seed Xinyu Wang of China wasn’t as fortunate as she encountered Spanish qualifier Eva Guerrero Alvarez to go down in three sets 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, after former junior girls Wimbledon champion Daria Snigur had packed off fourth seed Leonie Kung of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4 in quick time earlier in the day.
The fifth and sixth seeds were also through to the last eight with No. 5 Kurumi Nara going past fellow Japanese and lucky loser Kyoka Okamura 6-3, 6-4, while sixth-seeded Cristina Bucsa of Spain mowed down qualifier En-shuo Liang 6-4, 6-1.
After seventh seed Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove’s early exit on Monday, it was eighth seed Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey who also made it through with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win against Yue Yuan of China.
Buyukakcay will now run into top seed Golubic, while Snigur will have to take on Bucsa to decide the semi-finalists in the top half of the draw. Nara will face Alvarez, while Tauson will be up against Polish qualifier Maja Chawlinska, who had come through with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Chinese wild card Shuyue Ma in the lower half.
Tauson, who has spent the last few weeks in Dubai preparing for the season ahead, was thrilled to advance to the last eight of this inaugural tournament. “I liked the way I played and kept myself in the match throughout against a tough and tricky opponent,” the Dane said. “I am looking forward to another tough battle in the quarter-finals against Maja [Chawlinska] on Thursday. But, I am ready to face anything that comes my way and I will give it my best for sure.”
Tauson, 18, became the youngest Danish tennis champion when she was just 13. She has been a professional play since 2017, during which time she has won the girls singles event at the European Youth Olympics in 2017 and the European Junior Championship the following year.
On the ITF Junior Circuit, the promising Dane has so far won nine singles tournaments since 2016 with the 2019 Australian Open crown among the most significant rewards that ultimately put her at the top of the junior world ranking.
“The idea is to just take one match at a time. We have reached the quarter-final stages and thing won’t get any easy here onwards. I am here to give it my best,” she said.
Viktorija Golubic  bt Mariam Bolkvadze 6-0, 6-4
Clara Tauson  bt Na-lae Han 6-2, 6-0
Eva Guerrero Alvarez bt Xinyu Wang  2-6, 6-3, 7-6
Daria Snigur bt Leonie Kung  6-2, 6-4
Kurumi Nara  bt Kyoka Okamura 6-3, 6-4
Cristina Bucsa  bt En-shuo Liang 6-4, 6-1
Cagla Buyukakcay  bt Yue Yuan 6-1, 6-2
Maja Chawlinska bt Shuyue Ma 6-1, 6-1