Liudmila Samsonova said she was "really proud" of herself after recovering from a set and a break down to beat Paula Badosa in a Dubai thriller. Samsonova, seeded at No 14, kicked off her Dubai campaign with a thriller 6-7 (3) 7-6 (5) 6-4 win over former world No 2 Badosa.
The match lasted three hours and 22 minutes. Samsonova now has a 3-0 head-to-head against Badosa. "Playing against Paula is always tough. She’s doing unbelievable, so I’m really proud that I stayed on the court until the end.
I think I’m growing match after match, day by day. I know it’s a long journey, and I hope to continue like that," Samsonova said after beating Badosa, per the WTA website.
How Samsonova defeated Badosa?
Samsonova saved three break points in the second game but also missed out on her first break point in the fifth game.
In the 10th game - when Samsonova was serving to stay in the first set - the Russian saved four set points to tie the first set to five games apiece and eventually force a tie-break. In the tie-break, Samsonova opened an early 3-0 lead before Badosa won the next seven points to overturn the deficit and seal the first set.
In the second set, the first break of the match was seen when Badosa broke Samsonova in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead. Down by a set and a break, Samsonova broke back Badosa in the eighth game and the set later had to be resolved in another tie-break.
In the second set tie-break, Badosa had a 4-3 lead before Samsonova won four of the next five points to win the set and send the match into a decider. After winning a tight second set, Samsonova broke Badosa in the first game of the third set but the Spaniard broke back immediately in the second game.
However, blowing an early third-set break didn't impact Samsonova, who kept her focus and broke Badosa again in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead. Up by a break, Samsonova held on to her serve the rest of the set to complete a big comeback win over Badosa.