In the one of the better matches of 2021, Garbine Muguruza took down defending champion Aryna Sabalenka in a second round thriller in Doha 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3.
The former No. 1 Muguruza jumped out 4-0 before securing the first. In the second, the Spaniard came from a break down to serve for the match at 6-5, but was unable to finish the job.
Muguruza again came from a break down in the third, this time she won the last four games to earn the win.
“Today I was facing a top player, and I knew I have to go out there with a big, fighting spirit, and strong to be able to win against these tough opponents.”
The first three set match of the event features 71 combined winners.
No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova later also needed three sets to dispatch Ons Jabeur 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. Pliskova now meets American qualifier Jessica Pegula who eliminated former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenka.
Maria Sakkari destroyed the returning Madison Keys 6-2, 6-2. She’ll now get Muguruza.
Petra Kvitova advanced as did Anett Kontaveit who breezed past Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4. Kvitova and Kontaveit will meet tomorrow in the quarterfinals.
And Elina Svitolina and Victoria Azarenka were winners setting up a Thursday showdown. Azarenka has won all three meetings with the Ukrainian who is top-seeded at the event.
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