Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulkova out of WTA Dubai 2017

The draw in Dubai really opened up on the bottom half as Pliskova was eliminated.

Karolina Pliskova has been eliminated from the 2017 WTA Dubai event (Duty Free Tennis Championships). The Czech player was able to claim a title last week in Doha, however perhaps those efforts tired her out. She fell in the second round this week to Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-2, 6-4. Pliskova was not the only key player to lose on Tuesday as some other seeded players fell as well.

One such player was Garbine Muguruza, the fifth seed in the Dubai event. The Spaniard continues to slump on tour and on this occasion she pulled out in her round-of-32 match against Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine down 4-1 in the first set. The problem appeared to be with her ankle or Achilles as she continues to struggle to find her best tennis and stay fit.

In another section of the draw, Dominika Cibulkova was eliminated. The three seed in the Dubai event was very active in Doha last week as well, making the semifinals of that tournament. Cibulkova lost to Ekaterina Makarova in a three-setter 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Makarova will now go on to face American player Lauren Davis while Cibulkova continues to struggle a bit after winning the World Tour Finals to conclude the 2016 season.

Some lower seeds were also eliminated on Tuesday. Ana Konjuh defeated 12th-seeded Sam Stosur in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. Monica Puig was also victorious as she defeated 15th-seeded Caroline Garcia. Seeded players that were able to advance included Caroline Wozniacki, Agniezska Radwanska, and Elena Vesnina. Furthermore, the top seed in the event, Angelique Kerber, advanced in straight sets through Mona Bartel.

The last match of the day that was played featured Elina Svitolina against qualifier Sasai Zheng. At time of writing, the match was on serve deep in the first set. With the completion of this match the round-of-16 will be set in Dubai. Kerber and Puig are set to meet in that round, a rematch of the Rio final. Catherine Bellis is also still alive in the draw as the 17-year old will face Radwanska.

Shane Lambert