Simona Halep reaches the quarters in Dubai

Simona Halep 2019 Dubai

Naomi Osaka blames scrutiny over coaching split for Dubai defeat

The 28-year-old saved six of nine break points and converted three of 11 to advance to a quarter-final against Viktoria Kuzmova after the Slovakian world No. 46 rallied from a bad start to defeat Sofia Kenin of the U.S. 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 in 2 hours, 16 minutes.

Angelique Kerber capitulated to a shock loss at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday, losing 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 to Hsiesh Su-Wei.

Among the big names drawing the crowds, however, are former Dubai champions Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep, plus the woman who has won in Dubai for the last two years, Elina Svitolina.

"Our defending champion Elina Svitolina played magnificently to reach the quarter-finals and it will take a very special performance to prevent her becoming the first WTA player to win the title for three consecutive years", said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.

Halep, who was playing her ninth match in 13 days after reaching the final in Qatar last week, got one break back but Bencic broke again for a 5-2 lead before converting her third match point. "I say to myself, 'Okay, if she (does) not ace me, I hit the ball so much harder than before, then she can not hit a victor'".

Osaka looked a shadow of her usual self as she was beaten in her first match since the Australian Open. She stole Pliskova's serve at love in game nine after a double fault from the Czech and closed the opener with a service victor for a 6-4 after 37 minutes.

"I feel close to my highest level". Also I have no expectations.

The Romanian wins her second straight match.

Barca's Suarez in firing line after European away goals drought
And such wastefulness was almost punished, with Lyon no mugs and looking to hit Barcelona on the break whenever they could. Valverde was happy with his team's performance but said he was frustrated to see so many missed many opportunities.

"I just need to try to play my game and be happy on the court, be positive", Hsieh said.

"And because a year ago I wasn't even anywhere close to this ranking and people didn't pay attention to me and that's something that I'm comfortable with".

In the third round, Svitolina just 1 hour and 2 minutes defeated the ex-first racket of the world Garbinie the Wind. "I think I touched it a little bit today", said sixth seeded Svitolina.

"Definitely it's a relief right now", Kvitova, said after the match.

"See, it's a little bit hard because I feel like people are staring at me, and not in a good way".

Meanwhile, Kerber was two breaks down to Dalila Jakupovic in the first set, trailing 5-1 and saving two set points.

While she has
not consistently displayed her A-game this week it should come as no shock that Kvitova has made today's final.

It was the second major surprise in a week involving US Open champion Osaka, who announced she had parted ways with Sascha Bajin, the coach who had guided her in both her Grand Slam victories.

Latest News