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Top eight sail into next Dubai Duty Free Open round

posted on 18/02/2015: 1952 views

The top eight seeds made their way into the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Tuesday.

Top seed Simona Halep of Romania, was simply too strong for a fatigued Daniela Hantuchova as she beat last weekend's PTT Thailand Open champion 6-2, 6-0 in an hour and 13 minutes after the other seven seeds had eased their way into the next round.

It has been a punishing week for Hantuchova despite her triumph in Pattaya on Sunday.

Hantuchova saved two match points in her semi-finals against Marina Erakovic that took 2.46 hours, while her final on Sunday against Ajla Tomljanovic lasted 2.07 hours.

She barely had time to pack and leave for the airport to take the six-hour flight to Dubai on Sunday night itself and landed only at 5.30 am on Monday.

Later in the evening, having got perhaps an hour of sleep through the day, Hantuchova looked a bit rusty at times but went on to win in 2.39 hours in three sets against Mona Barthel to set up a clash against top seed Halep.

In three days, the lanky Slovakian had spent a little over seven and a half hours on court on three successive days, not counting the time spent on travelling.


Given these conditions, Hantuchova was sure to crumble against an opponent who is possibly playing the best tennis of her career.

To her credit, Halep broke early in the third and then held for a 3-1 lead. A second break in the seventh and the Romanian girl from Constanta nosed clear 6-2 in 40 minutes.

In the second set, things were easier with the fatigue clearly showing on Hantuchova as she struggled with her on-court movements.

That resulted in a 6-0 whitewash and a meeting in the next round for Halep against Tsvetana Pironkova.

The top seed was aware she was up against an opponent who was possibly not at her best.

"I think she was a little bit tired because she came from Pattaya. She played good tennis there. Here I was more fresh maybe, and I was running very well. My shots were very, very strong and very deep. I played good tennis, and I'm really happy that I found the way to win a match here in Dubai,” Halep said later.

Earlier, second-seed Petra Kvitova joined ex-world number ones Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic in third-round action that takes place on Wednesday.

After Wozniacki had managed a scrappy 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over former two-time Grand Slam winner Samantha Stosur, Ivanovic in contrast took all of 65 minutes for a 6-0, 6-3 domination of Sabina Lisicki.

Kvitova, a champion here in 2011, stumbled early, but still managed to hold on for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win against Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine to set up a third-round match against Italian Carla Suarez Navarro.

Making her eighth appearance, Wozniacki has had an impressive record while winning the title once [in 2011] and another three successive semi-final appearances [2012, 2013 and 2014].

Last year, she lost to eventual champion Venus Williams in straight sets. But the third-seeded Dane took her time for a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over Samantha Stosur to set a meeting against last year's runner-up Alize Cornet.

Four seed Ana Ivanovic also booked her spot in the third round against Karolina Pliskova with a dominating 6-0, 6-3 win over Sabine Lisicki. – Gulf News -


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