Rybakina Ousts Andreescu In Dubai Opener; Sabalenka, Gauff, Swiatek v Fernandez Tues.

by Staff | February 20th, 2023, 6:16 pm
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The first round continued Monday at the WTA 1000 in Dubai on Monday. The big match of the day saw former Grand Slam champions Elena Rybakina and Bianca Andreescu colliding, and it was the 23-year-old Rybakina coming ahead 6-3, 6-4.

The ninth-seeded Wimbledon winner Rybakina cracked six aces and broke the Canadian four times. She won eight of the last 10 points of the match and the last four games.

Rybakina captured the final 4 games en route to the win. Rybakina won the last 2 points and 8 of the last 10.

“The second set, a few mistakes, a few good returns from Bianca, and I turned around and I was down,” Rybakina told the WTA. “But then I’m happy that I managed to win in two.

“I think tactically I was playing great, just at a few moments, maybe I rushed a bit on the serve. [I lost] my serve two times, but then I’m happy that the return games I played really well.”

The 22-year-old Andreescu won a total of three points on her second serve as she falls to 0-2 against Rybakina who was a former finalist in Dubai.

2022 runner-up Veronika Kudermetova was ushered out by 26-year-old Anhelina Kalinina 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.

Elsewhere, Romanian veteran Sorana Cirstea upended No. 11 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 4-6, 7-6(9-7), 7-5. Defending champion and No. 13 seed Jelena Ostapenko eliminated Katarina Zavatska 6-1, 6-4.

Former runner-up Karolina Pliskova eased past countrywoman Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 6-4.

Karolina Muchova, Shelby Rogers and Yulia Putintseva also advanced, as did former finalist Victoria Azarenka who took down the returning Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-5.

Looking at tomorrow, key matches include in second round play Leylah Fernandez – No. 1 Iga Swiatek, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka – Lauren Davis, No. 3 Jessica Pegula – Viktoriya Tomova, Madison Keys – No. 4 Caroline Garcia, No. 5 Coco Gauff – Aliaksandra Sasnovich and No. 6 Maria Sakkari – Karolina Pliskova.

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