Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Veronika Kudermetova in action in the second round of the the 2022 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday.
Dubai, UAE – February 16 2022: A day of stunning upsets at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday saw defending champion Garbine Muguruza, 2021 finalist Barbora Krejcikova, former two-time winner Elina Svitolina and sixth seed Iga Swiatek all fail to advance beyond the second round.
Jil Teichmann was the first to reach the quarter-finals as she defeated Svitolina to win 7-6 6-2. Jelena Ostapenko then took two hours 29 minutes to oust Swiatek 4-6 6-1 7-6, qualifier Dayana Yastremska beat second seeded Krejcikova 6-3 7-6 and Veronika Kudermetova overcame fourth seeded Muguruza 3-6 6-4 6-4.
“It was extraordinary to see so many seeds upset in one afternoon,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “We congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing Garbine Muguruza, Barbora Krejcikova, Iga Swiatek and Elina Svitolina back in Dubai to bid once again for the title, and we wish them well during the remainder of the season.”
Kudermetova was thrilled to earn her first victory over Muguruza and really began to pressure her opponent after receiving off-court treatment for a painful hip midway through the second set. Having narrowly lost the first set, she broke serve at 5-4 in the second and grew in confidence as the match moved to its climax. She came under pressure just once when she fought off two break points at 4-4, and then celebrated victory when Muguruza struck three consecutive double-faults to end the contest.
“I start to feel painful on my hip,” Kudermetova explained, “because yesterday I have a tough match, today we played very high level, I think. I have little bit muscle tightness. I feel safe because they wrap my muscle.
“I think I started the match not really well because I did a lot of mistake from my side. Garbine, she play really good, solid rallies. In the second set, I try to found my game, to play my best, sometimes aggressive. I started to mix my serve. I think it was the key. I keeped my serve. I tried to make pressure on her return. I think it was the key of that match today.”
Ostapenko went behind after Swiatek earned the seventh break of the first set to take it 6-4, but she stormed back in the second and surrendered just one game to level the match. The deciding set was tense after Ostapenko had continued her domination by speeding to a 3-0 lead. Swiatek levelled at 3-3, dropped her serve in a remarkable 22-point eighth game to fall behind 5-3, saved a match point at 5-4 to level again at 5-5 before Ostapenko edged the tiebreak 7-4.
Svitolina has been struggling of late and since winning her two titles in Dubai has failed to come close to repeating that success. She was the one under pressure in the first set as she twice battled to hold serve and then failed to win a point in the tiebreak. In the second set, Teichmann broke with her fourth break point of the game to lead 2-1 and from then on she progressed comfortably to victory.
Yastremska’s win over Krejcikova was also straightforward, and earned her a quarter-final meeting with fellow qualifier Marketa Vondrousova, who defeated another qualifier, Varvara Gracheva, 6-2 6-0.
“It has been a day of high drama at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, with the impressive upsets by so many underlining the incredible depth in women’s tennis,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “Now, more than ever, results are unpredictable and that adds so much excitement to the tournament. The next few days will be very interesting indeed.”
The WTA event continues until 19th February, and then between 21st and 26th February the tournament celebrates the 30th anniversary of the ATP Tour 500 tournament when world number one Novak Djokovic will be bidding for his sixth Dubai title.
For ticket information, visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/tickets/
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.