Darja Semenistaja of Latvia lost to fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan in Fujairah.
Darja Semenistaja of Latvia lost to fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan in Fujairah. Image Credit: Alaric Gomes/Gulf News

Dubai: Former Wimbledon Junior champion Daria Snigur led two of the top five seeds into the second round of the Fujairah International Women Tournament at the Fujairah Tennis and Country Club (FTCC) on Tuesday.

Snigur, who had a career-high ranking of No. 2 (October 2019) on the junior tour after reaching the final of the ITF Junior Finals, went on to win 6-4, 6-3 against qualifier Tereza Mrdeza. The 18-year-old from Ukraine will next meet fourth seed Leonie Kung of Switzerland in the second round, on Wednesday.

Snigur’s career has been on a rise especially after she and Maria Dolzhenko signed contracts with the International Tennis Academy after being crowned champions of tennis tournaments in the junior group in 2017. During that time, the plucky youngster did well to reach her first Grand Slam junior singles final where she defeated Alexa Noel in straight sets to become only the second Ukrainian junior champion at Wimbledon after Kateryna Bondarenko.

“It’s one match at a time for me here as I have so much to learn from all these senior players,” Snigur said. “I like this place and I enjoy playing in this part of the world. Maybe it is lucky for me here and I hope I can carry this luck forward.”

Kurumi Nara in action in Fujairah
Kurumi Nara in action in Fujairah Image Credit: Alaric Gomes/Gulf News

Also advancing to the second round will be the third and fifth seeds. No. 3 Xinyu Wang of China made light work of qualifier Katherina Gerlach 6-1, 6-2, while fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan had an equally easy and identical 6-1, 6-2 win against qualifier Darja Semenistaja of Latvia.

Wang will next run into Eva Guerrero Alvarez after the Spaniard secured a 6-4, 6-2 win against qualifier Katie Swan of Great Britain. Nara will meet lucky loser Kyoka Okamura after the Japanese girl dug in deep for a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 win against Belgian qualifier, Marie Benoit.

Meanwhile, at the lower end of the draw, Na-lae Han got the better of Japan’s Chihiro Muramatsu 6-2, 6-3 and earn her right to meet second seed Clara Tauson of Denmark.

The last of the ladies from the region bowed out with Oman’s Fatma Al Nabhani going down in straight sets to Chinese Taipei qualifier En-shuo Liang, who will now meet sixth seed Cristina Bucsa of Spain in the second round.

Sponsored by Al Fujairah National Insurance Company (AFNIC), Al Habtoor, FREE and Fujairah Cement Industries, this is the first-ever time that Fujairah is playing host to an event on the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour. The tournament will conclude with the doubles and singles finals on Saturday.


Yue Yuan bt Naiktha Bains 7-6, 6-0
Daria Snigur bt Tereza Mrdeza 6-4, 6-3
En-shuo Laing bt Fatma Al Nabhani 6-4, 6-4
Kurumi Nara bt Darja Semenistaja 6-1, 6-2
Eva Guerrero Alvarez bt Katie Swan 6-4, 6-2
Maja Chawlinska bt Jia-jing Lu 6-4, 6-1
Na-lae Han bt Chihiro Muramatsu 6-2, 6-3