At the WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi, the longest match of the year on the WTA Tour took place on the Stadium Court. Beatriz Haddad Maiad won the battle which lasted three hours and 42 minutes.
The Brazilian reached her first quarter-final of the season by beating Magda Linette with a score of 7-6(6) (1) 6-7 6-1. The Pole, after having restored parity by dominating the tie-break, collapsed in the decisive set and collected only one game.
Haddad Maia's next opponent will be Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian won the most interesting match of the day, destroying Emma Raducanu 6-4, 6-1. The British player started badly, losing the opening game by 40-15 and committing a painful double fault on the break point granted to Jabeur. The former finalist doubled the score to 3-1, but she failed in her first attempt to close the serve, thanks to Raducanu's excellent backhand.
On 5-4, after wasting four set points, Jabeur erased any thoughts of a comeback from her opponent's mind by playing a perfect round of serve. The unfortunate fall that occurred at the start of the match probably had negative effects on her in the second set, because Raducanu lost brilliance and even gave up some recoveries when she was forced to move to the right.
One of the funniest moments of their match occurred after the warm-up, when the two tennis players reached the net for the draw. Raducanu noticed a brown cat wandering at the far end of the court.
"Look, look, there's a cat!" said Raducanu, amused with Jabeur, while a staff member took the cat away from the court. Below you can watch the video shared by the WTA X account:
The other matches
Daria Kastkina beat Ashlyn Krueger 6-3, 7-5 and in the quarterfinals she will not face Maria Sakkari but Sorana Cirstea. The performance of the Greek player, never actually in the match, turned out to be too bad to be true.
Sakkari fought with herself for the entire match and never found a way to generate a real reaction capable of putting her rival in difficulty. Cirstea controlled the exchanges from the first to the last 15 and inflicted a very heavy 6-2, 6-1 on Sakkari in just over an hour.