Elena Rybakina opened her 2023 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign with a straight-sets win over Bianca Andreescu. The ninth seed from Kazakhstan needed an hour and 32 minutes to score a 6-3, 6-4 in their first-round clash on Monday.
The Canadian put in 76% of her first serves to Rybakina’s 59%. But Rybakina won 72% of her first-serve points to Andreescu’s 63%. Rybakina also won 79% points on return on Andreescu’s second serve. She converted four break points while saving four of the six break points she faced.
In the second set, the world no. 10 came from down a break in the early moments of the set to put herself through in straight sets. In the second round, Rybakina will play Marie Bouzkova.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Jelena Ostapenko begins title defence
Defending Dubai winner Jelena Ostapenko also booked her place in the second round on Tuesday.
The Latvian, seeded 13th, ousted Ukrainian qualifier Katarina Zavatska 6-1, 6-4 in 75 minutes. Speaking after the win, the 2017 French Open titlist said, “(Zavatska is) not an easy opponent, I think. I just today didn’t give her many chances to play.
I was playing more aggressive and took time away from her and made her play uncomfortable. I think that was the key”. Apart from these two results, there were also a couple of notable upsets that came about in the third set.
Veronika Kudermetova and Beatriz Haddad Maia, seeded 10th and 11th respectively, crashed out in the first set after losing the third set by the same score of 7-5. Both of these matches crossed the three-hour mark. Anhelina Kalinina took out Kudermetova 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in three hours and three minutes.
Sorana Cirstea came from a set down to upset the Brazilian, 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-5 after three hours and 29 minutes of play. In the second set, the Romanian went on to save a couple of match points as well. For a place in the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Kalinina will take on fellow Ukrainian, Dayana Yastremska.
Cirstea will play Karolina Muchova.