The 2nd seed and 2013 Dubai champion Petra Kvitova has notched her 15th win of the season, defeating a qualifier Jennifer Brady 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes. The Czech struggled in the second round match as well (read the match report HERE) and she won just three points more than Bradu today, with three breaks for each player overall.
Jennifer served at under 50% but her first serve carried her throughout the match, fending off eight out of 11 break points and building the drive in the second set before Petra broke her once in the decider to advance into the quarters.
After trading breaks in games five and six, Kvitova broke at love at 5-5 with a perfect drop shot before clinching the set with a backhand down the line winner in game 12. Brady fended off four break points at the start of the second set and she never looked back, breaking in game two after a double fault from Petra and increasing the lead to 4-0 when Kvitova's drop shot failed to reach the other side of the net.
Serving for the set at 5-1, the American landed a backhand down the line winner for the perfect ending of the set, having a chance to move in front in the decider as well. With her back pushed against the wall, Petra saved two break points at the start of the third set, making the crucial move in the very next game when she broke for a 2-0 lead, sealing the deal with an excellent hold in game nine to enter the last eight.
2015 champion Simona Halep was more efficient than Kvitova, toppling Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 20 minutes for the seventh win over the Ukrainian in as many matches. Tsurenko did score four breaks from as many chances, serving for the second set at 5-4 before Simona made one last push to bring the encounter home in straight sets.
Lesia was under all kind of pressure behind the initial shot, losing 55% of the points and giving the serve away seven times from ten chances Halep created, staying in touch in the second set but losing the pace in the pivotal moments as the Romanian won the last 12 points of the match!
The returners had the upper hand in the opening set, with six breaks in the final seven games, four on the side of Halep who grabbed it 6-3 when Lesia sprayed a forehand error at 3-5 to get broken for the fourth consecutive time!
As we already said, Tsurenko served for the second set at 5-4 although it wasn't to be for her, losing four straight points to suffer a break and sending Simona over the finish line when she broke at love in game 12.
In the battle of the youngster, Viktoria Kuzmova trailed 6-1, 5-3 against the American Sofia Kenin, only to prevail 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours and 16 minutes, saving three match points at 3-5 in the second set! Sofia had everything under control until that crucial ninth game, wasting her chances and losing the ground after that, with Kuzmova rattling off ten of the last 11 games to march towards the finish line and stay on the title course.