Abu Dhabi Open: Belinda Bencic, Qinwen Zheng notch impressive wins to enter last-8

Veronika Kudermetova and Shelby Rogers won the other two matches at the WTA 500 event

by Abbey Johnson
Abu Dhabi Open: Belinda Bencic, Qinwen Zheng notch impressive wins to enter last-8

Second seed Belinda Bencic kicked-off her Abu Dhabi Open run on Wednesday with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Marta Kostyuk in the second round. The Swiss needed an hour and 35 minutes to get the win. The Ukrainian had seven aces for the match but wasn’t able to do better against her second-seeded opponent.

Both players won 65% of her first-serve points but Bencic gained the upper hand in the proceedings thanks to winning more second-serve points. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics winner won 84% her second-serve points and 60% points on return on her opponent’s second serve.

Bencic did lose her serve twice across the match but also did break Kostyuk on four of six occasions. Both these breaks came in the second set. After the win, Bencic said, “I was expecting it to be a tough match against Marta.

I’m happy with how everything went, maybe some things I can improve, but it’s always nice to get the first (win)”. Looking to reach the semi-finals now, Bencic will play Shelby Rogers. The American advanced to the quarter-finals after her opponent, seventh seed Anett Kontaveit retired in their second-round match on Wednesday in the deciding set.

At that time, after an hour and 43 minutes of play, Rogers was leading the Estonian 4-6, 6-3, 4-1.

Abu Dhabi Open: Qinwen Zheng outplays Jelena Ostapenko

Qinwen Zheng scored an upset over fifth seed Jelena Ostapenko in their round-of-16 clash.

The Chinese won 7-6(10), 6-1 in an hour and 58 minutes. The second set was as one-sided as topsy-turvy as the first set was. In the first set tie-break, Ostapenko had three set points but couldn’t capitalise on any. Zheng also squandered three set points before securing the set on her fourth.

In the second set, Zheng didn’t face any break point but broke the Latvian twice to get a relatively straightforward win in the end. Zheng will now play either top seed Daria Kasatkina or Jil Teichmann. Fourth seed Veronika Kudermetova also clinched a place for herself in the quarter-finals of the Abu Dhabi Open with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Elise Mertens. Kudermetova’s next opponent could be either Barbora Krejcikova or eighth seed Liudmila Samsonova.

Belinda Bencic Veronika Kudermetova Shelby Rogers