Thursday, June 17, 2021

No. 9 seed Maria Sakkari cruises in Abu Dhabi opener

No. 9 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece defeated Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open on Wednesday.

Sakkari struck seven aces, tallied 18 winners and saved all four break points during the 86-minute match. She could face another teen in the second round if 16-year-old Coco Gauff can get past Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri.

Other seeded players advancing included No. 13 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who defeated Italy’s Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-3. No. 15 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia was a 7-6 (3), 6-3 winner over Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. No. 17 Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia eliminated Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 6-4, 6-4.

Belgium’s Kristen Flipkens outlasted Germany’s Laura Siegemund 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic was a 6-2, 7-6 (1) winner against China’s Lin Zhu. Spain’s Paula Badosa Gibert defeated Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez beat Italy’s Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-2, and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic was a 6-1, 6-3 winner against American Jamie Loeb.

Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova had the day’s biggest upset, ousting No. 10 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 7-5, 6-1. American Bernarda Pera knocked out No. 16 Donna Vekic of Croatia, 7-6 (10), 2-6, 6-4.

–Field Level Media

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