Jeepers, what a day! After a long, long Wednesday in Dubai, the draw has been left with no seeds remaining. Simona Halep and Carla Suárez Navarro were the first two out on Wednesday with Ana Ivanovic defeating Halep (full recap HERE) and Suárez Navarro failing to capitalise on a set and a break lead, eventually going down in three sets to Caroline Garcia. As rain and gigantic hailstones delayed action in Dubai, matches were spread across three courts into the early hours of Thursday morning. Garbiñe Muguruza was next to fall in straight sets to Elina Svitolina, 6-7(3) 3-6.
The Muguruza-Svitolina match was painful viewing. I hate to say this but it was more about Muguruza’s performance than Svitolina. The Spaniard committed a humongous 68 unforced errors including two at the end that was closer to the back fence than the court. Muguruza looked subdued throughout the match and was one-dimensional in her gameplan, hitting the cover off the ball with little or no variety. One of the things that impressed me so much about Muguruza last year was her ability to come forward and close out points. This didn’t happen in this match and despite Sam Sumyk giving her what sounded like credible advice after the conclusion of the first set, there wasn’t a notable change in performance.
Svitolina had twice failed to serve out the first set before finally getting the job done in the tiebreak. The Ukranian player, now with Justine Henin in her box, also failed to serve out the match before sealing the deal at the second time of asking. It was a good win in the end for Svitolina and she deserves respect for at least taking advantage of a slack performance from Muguruza. The stats describe the match quite accurately.
And then there were none… Petra Kvitova tumbled out in the last match on court 1 to Madison Brengle. And what a scoreline it was, 0-6 7-6(1) 6-3. Furthermore, chuck in that Kvitova won the first set in 17 minutes and she was 3-1 up in the decider. What a wild day. Credit to Brengle who did what I feared she might do… absorb everything. She really fought hard out there.
I’ve always been a fan of upsets but the lack of stability in this draw is rather unnerving! While the top ten continue to look very unsecure, i’d rather look at this from a positive angle in that it shows the strength in depth there currently is on the tour. It’s one of the reasons why I follow WTA much more closely than ATP because you just NEVER know what’s around the corner and that’s exciting. Polls for the quarter-finals are below along with a new one for the winner… so who’s winning this now?!