Elena Rybakina stunned fifth seed Sofia Kenin in their first-round match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday. The 20-year-old who lost the St. Petersburg final on Sunday quickly bounced back from that loss to win 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-3 in two hours against the 2020 Australian Open champion.
Immediately, after the victory, Rybakina said, "I've worked a lot, and it's amazing that I managed to win today. I just finished a tournament, and I only came here one day before [this match], so I'm happy.
I'm so happy with my win today. I think today I followed my tactics, and that was the key to win." Rybakina will take on Katerina Siniakova who defeated fellow Czech Karolina Muchova in their opening-round derby. Siniakova won 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in an hour and 52 minutes.
Kristina Mladenovic will play the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the second round. The French qualifier moved past fellow qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovic 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday. Eighth seed Petra Martic defeated lucky loser Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 32 minutes to reach the second round.
The Croatian will take on Garbine Muguruza. Seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka needed three sets to win against Maria Sakkari. The Belarusian won 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in two hours and two minutes. In her on-court interview, post-win, Sabalenka said, “I'm happy to win this match.
I knew it was going to be a great fight and that it was going to be tough. But somehow I was able to handle the pressure from her and I'm happy with the result”. Lastly, Anett Kontaveit completed the round-of-16 line-up in Dubai with her 6-1, 6-3 win over qualifier Sorana Cirstea. Photo Credit: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Website