Top seed Elina Svitolina lost for a third time in her last four matches today getting upset in the opening round of Dubai to Svetlana Kuznetsova 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Svitolina, a 2-time Dubai champion, led by a set and a break before the Russian stormed back at one point winning eight straight games to seize the match.
Recent Doha champion Petra Kvitova missed a chance at the Desert Double retiring to Jill Tiechmann down 6-2, 3-4 due to an adductor.
“Since my semifinal in Doha, I felt my adductor,” the former Dubai champion said. “It didn’t get any better in the second set, it just got a little bit worse and I felt pain almost everywhere on the right leg. So, unfortunately, I couldn’t really move how I wanted, and I didn’t want to get it even worse. So that’s unfortunately why I retired.”
Iga Swiatek and Garbine Muguruza set up a super Wednesday showdown. Swiatek took care of Misaki Doi 6-2, 6-4 while Muguruza eliminated Amanda Anisimova 6-4, 6-2.
“Of course, last year she won the French Open, so she had a big breakthrough,” Muguruza said. “It’s never easy to go out there and win a Grand Slam, so tomorrow I’m going out there and playing a very good player, and looking forward to that.”
“I’m happy that I get to play a player that I didn’t play for whatever reason, the draw or something, and top players especially.”
Coco Gauff went three sets for a seventh (!!!) straight match, this time coming from a set down to beat former French finalist Marketa Vondrousova. During the seven matches, she’s 6-1 having lost the first set in five of those matches. Nearly half of her 60 career matches have gone the distance.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Gauff said of lack of straight set matches. “Obviously I like to close in two, but a win is a win and if it takes three sets, I’m willing to play three sets.”
Gauff, who turns 17 next week, will now meet qualifier Tereza Martincova.
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