Zheng Upsets Top Seed Kasatkina In Abu Dhabi, Bencic Beats Rogers, Rybakina Out
Three of the top four seeds at the Abu Dhabi Open were eliminated Friday in quarterfinal play.
Chinese sensation Qinwen Zheng upended the top seeded Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-2. In the match, Zheng hit four aces, won 28/34 (82%) of first service points, 9/17 (53%) on second serves and never lost serve. The 20-year-old broke the Russian four times in this first meeting
Zheng advances her 3rd career semifinal.
No. 6 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia bounced No. 3 Elena Rybakina in three sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Haddad Maia, ranked No. 14, won 13/15 (87%) on second serves and broke the Rybakina serve three times.
The lefty from Brazil broke Rybakina twice in the third set to pace the win. Rybakina did finish with 19 aces.
“Today was a very tough battle. Rybakina, she’s a very good player, one of the best players in the world … so I knew I had to push myself every single game, especially on her serve,” Haddad Maia said. “I was trying to find a way to return, to break her, to give myself one more chance, and I’m happy with my win.”
Second-seeded Belinda Bencic eliminated the United States’s Shelby Rogers 7-6(7-5), 6-2. Bencic never dropped serve in the match breaking the upset-minded American in the twice in the second set.
Bencic has now won all three of tour-level head-to-head clashes with Rogers. The Swiss advances to her 26th career semifinal.
Also, No. 8 Liudmila Samsonova toppled No. 4 seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-3.
The Saturday slate boasts No. 2 Belinda Bencic – No. 6 Beatriz Haddad Maia in semifinals play plus No. 8 Liudmila Samsonova – Qinwen Zheng.
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