Rybakina Tops Pliskova In Abu Dhabi, Samsonova Over Krejcikova

by Staff | February 9th, 2023, 11:54 pm
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Two of the biggest serves in tennis met in the second round at Abu Dhabi on Thursday, and the youth was served. The 3rd-seeded Elena Rybakina got past Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2. The 23-year-old Rybakina hit three aces, won 23/31 (74%) first service points, 15/21 (71%) on second serves and never lost serve.

Pliskova, ranked No. 20, fired seven aces, hit four doubles, won 31/47 (66%) first service points, but was just 1/9 (11%) on second serves. Rybakina has now won all three of tour-level head-to-head contests with Pliskova.

Top seed Daria Kasatkina took the court defeating Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 1-6, 6-0, 6-2. Kasatkina, ranked 8th, broke serve seven times. She now leads Teichman 3-0 in tour-level meetings.

“In these tough conditions with the wind, as soon as you lose a little bit of focus the game can change completely, and this is what happened at the beginning,” said Kasatkina. “I was a little bit lost with the lights, with the wind but then I found a way to play more safe.”

Sixth-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia edged Yulia Putintseva in three sets 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 7-6(7-4). And No. 8 Liudmila Samsonova defeated former French champion Barbora Krejcikova 7-5, 7-6(8-6).

Looking at Friday in quarterfinal action, matches include Qinwen Zheng – No. 1 Daria Kasatkina, No. 2 Belinda Bencic – Shelby Rogers, No. 3 Elena Rybakina – No. 6 Beatriz Haddad Maia plus No. 8 Liudmila Samsonova – No. 4 Veronika Kudermetova.

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