Wozniacki and Ivanovic advance in Dubai

Wozniacki and Ivanovic advance in Dubai
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Published February 18th, 2015 - 12:03 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Caroline Wozniaki
Caroline Wozniaki

Former champion Petra Kvitova joined ex-world number ones Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic in the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open here on Tuesday.

After Wozniacki had managed a scrappy 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over former two-time Grand Slam winner Samantha Stosur and Ivanovic had taken just 65 minutes for a 6-0, 6-3 domination of Sabina Lisicki, Kvitova stumbled early, but managed to hold on for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win against Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine.

Champion in Dubai in 2013, Kvitova is the second seed here and will now face Italian Carla Suarez Navarro in the third match on Court 1 on Wednesday. “I’m not sure where I was in the first set. I don’t think I was on the court. But that happens sometimes. I think I was too hectic. I really wanted to play aggressively and I made a lot of mistakes. Very easy balls I just gave them for free. That was something I didn’t want, but of course in the other side I didn’t want to play just small rallies with nothing,” Kvitova said.

“So it was tough in the end, set everything to be still on the ball but not play that much aggressive but still play aggressive. It was tough. I knew it was going to be tough. I lost to her in Cincinnati, and then had a good match in Wuhan [China], but still I knew it’s going to be tough and it was,” she added.

Making her eighth appearance here, the Dane has had an impressive record while winning the title once [in 2011] and another three successive semi-final appearances [2012, 2013 and 2014]. Last year she lost to eventual champion Venus Williams in straight sets.

On Tuesday, Wozniacki looked less than sharp as Stosur took her chances and the opening set 6-4. The Dane then took a medical time-out to get her ailing knee strapped and that seemed to help as she ran through the second set 6-1 in good time. In the decider she was up early and all perched for a quick finish when the Australian dug in deep and saving two match points before Wozniacki finally crossed the line with one final break to complete the job in two hours and 42 minutes.

“The leg isn’t actually too bad. It’s an ongoing injury I have had for the last few years. It kind of goes on and off. It happened in the first point in the first game. It’s not feeling too bad. It was nice to get it taped up,” Wozniacki explained.

“I think she [Stosur] definitely stepped it up a little bit, and I couldn’t get a first serve in. And now I don’t have a voice. All of a sudden she was attacking and I was on the back foot. It kind of felt like I had already won the match, so I was like, going with the flow. But all of a sudden there was no flow and I had to fight back,” she added.

Also progressing to the next round was 2012 champion Agnieszka Radwanska with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia of France, while last year’s runner-up Alize Cornet powered her way past Turkey’s wild card Cagla Buyukakcay 6-2, 6-4.

Dubai resident, former world number one and 2005 finalist Jelena Jankovic bowed out meekly 6-3, 6-1 to Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, while 13th seed Carla Suarez Navarro was smooth in her 6-3, 6-4 win over Camila Giorgi.

There was heartache for former three-time runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova as the Russian caved in to a 7-6 (9), 7-5 loss to seventh seed Angelique Kerber of Germany. Kuznetsova has been consistent in Dubai, but has failed to win here even once with her best appearances coming as runner-up spots in 2004, 2008 and 2011.

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