Call it Doha Part 2. Dubai got underway earlier today with virtually the same draw as the just-finished Doha event won by Petra Kvitova over Garbine Muguruza.
The Top 6 seeds from Doha are back in the same slot this week in Dubai. Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka, Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic headline the last women’s event in the Middle East.
While several did withdraw from the swing including Victoria Azarenka today, four of the Top 10 and 12 of the Top 20 are playing including Muguruza, Coco Gauff, Angelique Kerber, Jelena Ostapenko and Amanda Anisimova.
The seeded quarters look like: Svitolina-Bencic, Kvitova-Bertens, Swiatek-Sabalenka, Pliskova-Mertens.
Last year, Simona Halep took the title beating Elena Rybakina in a final set tiebreaker. The Romanian had to withdraw from the event due to a back injury.
Action began Sunday with Coco Gauff starring in a thrilling win over Ekatarina Alexandrova 7-6(3), 2-6, 7-6(8).
The 16-year-old Gauff led the Russian 5-1 in the third set before things got sideways. Gauff missed four match points then had to save two of her own in the breaker to prevail.
“There were times when we both could have thrown in the towel and gave up, but we both were mentally fighting,” Gauff said. “I think it’s just one of those that you’re happy that it’s over, and happy that you fought through it.”
Gauff’s last five matches have gone the distance! She’ll now await the Vondrousova-Bogdan winner.
Ons Jabeur and Veronika Kudermetova were also opening day winners.
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