Elena Rybakina and Jennifer Brady became the first two players to reach the semi-finals of the 2020 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. On Thursday, Rybakina scored an upset against the second seed Karolina Pliskova while Brady ousted the ninth seed Garbine Muguruza.
Rybakina’s win over the Czech world no. 3 was the first top-five win of her career. She won in straight sets 7-6(1), 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes. She also hit 11 aces – nearly four times as many as Pliskova’s three to reroute the match more firmly in her direction.
For the match, the Kazakh had a total of 33 winners to her higher-ranked opponent’s 20. In the five tournaments she has played this season so far, this the fourth tournament in which the 20-year-old has reached the penultimate stage.
And she is 3-0 in the semi-finals that she has played in the three previous events (Shenzhen, Hobart, and St. Petersburg). In the second half of the draw, Rybakina awaits the winner of the Petra Martic-Anett Kontaveit in the second-last round.
Meanwhile, at the top of the draw, qualifier Brady made the most of her match against Muguruza and came from a set down to reach her maiden semi-final in a WTA Premier tourney. The American won 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes.
After the match, in her on-court interview, Brady shared, "I’m really happy to be into the semifinals here." Brady could face either top-seed and world no. 2 Simona Halep or the seventh-seeded Aryna Sabalenka for a place in the final. Photo Credit: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Twitter