Abu Dhabi Open: Sofia Kenin, Aryna Sabalenka reach pre-quarters


Abu Dhabi Open: Sofia Kenin, Aryna Sabalenka reach pre-quarters

Sofia Kenin reached the pre-quarter-finals of the Abu Dhabi Open on Friday. The top-seed advanced when her opponent Kirsten Flipkens took a tumble on an advertisement box behind the baseline and suffered a sprain to her left ankle and was forced to retire mid-match.

At the time of her withdrawal from the match, Kirsten led by a set 7-5 but Kenin was serving for the second at 5-4. After the match, Kenin’s first thoughts were about her opponent. “I obviously got a little bit upset, emotional.

We’re good friends and that’s not something you like to see. I just hope [Flipkens] can have a speedy recovery and get ready for Australia,” she said. “She played a really good match. It was the third time we’ve played each other, and it was a really solid match from both of us.

This is not the way I wanted to win. I just hope she’s going to have a speedy recovery; she’s obviously playing well. This is just really unfortunate, and I’ll write to her later tonight, asking how she is”.

Kenin will play 13th seed Yulia Putintseva in the third round. The Kazakh defeated the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova in their round-of-32 encounter. Putintseva won in straight sets 6-4, 7-5 in a minute short of the two-hour mark.

Fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka moved into the round-of-16, too. The Belarusian defeated Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. This was Sabalenka’s third win in four meetings against Tomljanovic. In her post-match presser, Sabalenka said, “I was just trying to stay calm, trying to stay in every point and make sure I’m fighting for every point.

I’m staying (at) the moment. What happened in the past happened in the past, and I’m just focusing on every match. I’m just trying to focus on my game, work through everything, to try to do my best against every opponent, that’s it.

This kind of mentality helped me to build this confidence”.

Abu Dhabi Open: Spaniards make it two for two

Sabalenka will play 15th seed Ons Jabeur in the pre-quarter-finals. The Tunisian came from a set down to beat Kateryna Bondarenko in the opening match of the day, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Tamara Zidansek and Sara Sorribes Tormo will vie for a spot in the quarter-finals. The Slovenian defeated Leylah Fernandez in their second-round match 6-4, 6-4. The Spaniard, meanwhile, claimed a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Bernarda Pera.

In the opening set, Sorribes Tormo led by a break and even served for the lead in the match but was broken by her American opponent who won three games on the trot to clinch the first set. While the second set went Sorribes Tormo’s way without any problems, the Spaniard went down an early break in the third set before getting a break back in a timely manner to win the match.

Veronika Kudermetova reached the third round of the Abu Dhabi Open with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Italian Bianca Turati. The Russian will play Paula Badosa in the next round. The Spaniard beat Alize Cornet in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in their round-of-32 clash. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter