Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova stunned at Abu Dhabi


Russian qualifier Anastasia Gasanova stunned third-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-4 to reach the third round of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open on Saturday.

Gasanova, 21, was playing a top 100 player (Pliskova is ranked No. 6) for the first time. Gasanova is ranked No. 292.

“I’m really surprised, but when I woke up today, I thought, ‘Why not? Why can’t I win this match?'” Gasanova said afterward. “Actually, I thought I would lose in qualies or something like that, but I just kept pushing myself, like, I need to win and I want to win.”

Gasanova managed four service breaks and was broken just once in the 72-minute victory. Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, finished with 28 unforced errors, compared to just 15 for Gasanova.

Next up for the Russian is Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, who beat American Bernarda Pera in three sets on Friday.

In other seeded play, No. 2 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat unseeded Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-1; No. 5 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain topped Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-1, 6-4; No. 9 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan held off China’s Xiyu Wang 6-4, 6-4; No. 9 Maria Sakkari of Greece stopped American Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-2; and No. 17 Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia survived against Great Britain’s Heather Watson 7-5, 6-7 (7), 6-3.

No. 12 seed Karolína Muchova of the Czech Republic lost in a walkover to Russia’s Daria Kasatkina when she withdrew before their match.

Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk rallied to beat Taiwan’s Su-wei Hsieh 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in the day’s only other match.

–Field Level Media