WTA Dubai: Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza reach R3

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WTA Dubai: Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza reach R3

The second seed and 2013 Dubai champion Petra Kvitova had to work hard to reach the third round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, ousting the fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes.

Petra scored an easy triumph over Siniakova in straight sets last year in Prague while today's clash was nothing like that, with Katerina winning four points more overall and staying in touch despite breaking Petra only once.

Kvitova grabbed three breaks and she managed to prevail with a single break in sets two and three and remain in the title course. Petra suffered a break in the third game when her forehand finished in the net, wasting four break points in the following games and leaving Siniakova to serve for the set at 5-4.

In the very last moment to prolong the set, Petra broke back with a backhand down the line winner before Siniakova claimed the breaker 7-3 with a service winner to move closer to the finish line. Petra saved both break points she faced in the second set and she forged the lead with a break at the beginning of the set when she landed a perfect volley winner.

Kvitova saved break points in games four and six and the set was in her hands after an ace in game ten to force a decider. There, both players competed on a very high level until the ninth game when Siniakova sent a backhand long to give the serve away, allowing Petra to seal the set with a volley winner in the following game to seal the deal and reach the last 16.

A former world no. 7 Belinda Bencic needed just 52 minutes to dismiss the compatriot Stefanie Voegele 6-1, 6-1 after a dominant display on both serve and return. Belinda dropped 11 points in seven service games and never faced a break point, keeping the pressure on Voegele all the time after winning 60% of the return points, scoring five breaks and sailing towards the finish line.

The 12th seed Garbine Muguruza ousted Saisa Zheng 7-5, 6-2 in an hour and 33 minutes, trailing 5-3 in the opening set before winning nine straight games that secured the triumph for her. Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-4 while the American Alison Riske toppled Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 18 minutes with four breaks of serve.

In one of the matches of the day, 2015 champion Simona Halep ousted Eugenie Bouchard 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 42 minutes for the fourth win over the Canadian in five matches. Bouchard served at only 46% but she gave her best to impose her shots and stay in touch with the better-ranked opponent, dominating with her first serve and saving five out of seven break points.

On the other hand, the Romanian had to play against only one break point and she did enough to seal the deal in straight sets and enter the third round. They traded breaks in games six and seven and Simona grabbed the tie break 7-4 after a colossal drive-volley error from Bouchard in just under an hour.

Halep never faced a break point in set number two and she forged an early lead with a backhand return winner in the opening game, controlling the pace and moving over the finish line in the tenth game after a service winner.