Top seed Simona
Halep survived an early scare and saved a match point to beat Tunisia’s Ons
Jabeur 1-6 6-2 7-6(7) in the last 16 of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis
Championships on Wednesday.
playing her first match since a semi-final exit at the Australian Open, was
rusty in the opening set as Jabeur got off to a flier and the Romanian was
world number two bounced back to take the opening three games of the second set
and rediscovered her touch from the baseline with powerful groundstrokes that
forced Jabeur into errors.
The third set was
tight and went to a tiebreak in which Jabeur saved three match points, and
created one of her own, before Halep converted her fourth match point to
advance to the quarter-finals.
“It was a very
tough match, she played really well,” Halep said in a post-match interview.
“Congrats to her, I was a little bit lucky to win tonight.
after a long time, (it) is tough to play. I gave everything I had, I just
wanted to win the match. I didn’t give up (on) any point, I’m really proud that
I fought till the end.”
While Jabeur hit
26 winners to Halep’s 10, her unforced error count of 41 and five double faults
On the other side
of the draw, second seed Karolina Pliskova needed only 67 minutes to advance
with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Kristina Mladenovic.
finalist and ninth seed Garbine Muguruza, who knocked out Kim Clijsters in the
first round, beat Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova 7-5 4-6 6-4.
who knocked out Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, brushed aside Katerina
Siniakova 6-3 6-3 to book a quarter-final clash with Pliskova
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