Svitolina advances but Osaka is stunned in Dubai

Former champions Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep overcame windy conditions to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships on Wednesday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, 28, won 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-4.

Playing her first match since claiming the No. 1 ranking with her Australian Open triumph, the Japanese 21-year-old capitulated in just over an hour, having won less than half of her first serve points while making 25 unforced errors.

"I feel like, even if I don't win any matches for the rest of the year, I wouldn't say I'm concerned.

But I have gained energy from this win".

The Ukrainian was rarely in trouble against the two-major victor as she cantered through 6-1, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final with Carla Suarez Navarro on Thursday.

Jabeur took a fall late in the opening set, rolling her ankle while also hitting her shoulder.

World number 2 and Dubai Duty Free Ambassador, Simona Halep treated herself this week ahead of her first game at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a quick shopping spree at the Dubai Duty Free shop in Terminal 3, Concourse B.


But she was not impressed with her own effort. "Today I didn't really feel in a match mood, I don't know why". I tried very hard. "Sometimes is not easy take the confidence back again".

The 33-year-old next faces either Alison Riske of the United States or fourth seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in her second semi-final of the season.

Bencic, who saved six match points in the previous round against Aryna Sabalenka, failed to capitalise on an early break in the first set but Halep continued to struggle with her serve and was broken seven times in total.

Kvitova benefited from Brady's sixth double fault of the match to secure a break in the first game before producing a string of delightful serve and volley combinations to extend her lead.

Kvitova, who won the Dubai trophy in 2013, admitted that she came into the week somewhat unprepared, last playing on the WTA in a St Petersburg quarter-final a fortnight ago. I had something different to do in my life. I wasn't really that prepared for this tournament.

"I think my reason is I wouldn't put success over my happiness".

The first Premier 5 of the season has been showing its strong credentials this week as the top women in tennis gear up for the fearsome double-header that fills March, the back-to-back Premier Mandatories in Indian Wells and Miami.

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