It was a wild week on the WTA tour at the Dubai Duty Free Championships which was littered with upsets as all eight seeds departed before the quarter-finals and without winning a match. Upsets always add an injection of excitement, but the loss of seeds this week was rather unnerving. The final promised drama but unfortunately didn’t quite deliver. Here’s my weekly round-up of all the action in Dubai through scorelines, tweets, pictures, videos and articles… enjoy! 🙂
Sara Errani, 2016 Dubai Duty Free Championships champion. I don’t think anyone had that one down on their drawsheet! Full credit to Errani for battling her way through the draw. She was 1-5 down in the first set of her first round match against Saisai Zheng, and was a double break down in the third set of her quarter-final against Madison Brengle. She was an absolute wall in the final, thrashing a wildly erratic, Barbora Strycova, 6-0 6-2. While Strycova obviously had the added nerves of the final, this is a rough match-up for her… Congrats to Sara!
Chia-Jung Chuang and Darija Jurak won the Dubai doubles title, defeating Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in the final. Chuang and Jurak saved five match points in their semi-final against Sara Errani and Carla Suárez Navarro.
The Completed Singles Draw
WTA rollercoaster scorelines
Madison Brengle d. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4 7-5 (R1) – Makarova was 2-0* up in the first set and 4-0 40-30* in the second set
Jelena Jankovic d. Belinda Bencic, 4-6 7-5 6-4 (R1) – Bencic led 6-4 *4-3
Barbora Strycova d. Julia Goerges, 2-6 6-3 6-1 (R2) – Goerges led 6-2 3-0 15-0*
CoCo Vandeweghe d. Kristina Mladenovic, 7-5 3-6 6-4 (R2) – Mladenovic led 4-2 in the third set
Madison Brengle d. Petra Kvitova, 0-6 7-6(1) 6-3 (R2) – Kvitova led 6-0 *3-1 and then 3-1* again in the third set too
Sara Errani d. Madison Brengle, 4-6 6-1 6-4 (QF) – Brengle led *4-1 *15-5 and also had three game points at *4-3 *40-0
Tennis worth catching up with…
Ana Ivanovic d. Simona Halep, 7-6(3) 6-2 (R2)
While the quality wasn’t quite sustained for two sets, the first set of the Halep-Ivanovic match was superb with a wonderfully intense vibe and some awesome rallies. Peak Ivanovic made an appearance…
Jelena Jankovic d. Belinda Bencic, 4-6 7-5 6-4 (R1)
This was another fascinating installment in the BB-JJ head-to-head with Jankovic securing her second consecutive win over Bencic on hard courts.This was a thoroughly entertaining match with plenty of long rallies and twists and turns with Jankovic coming from a set and a break down to prevail.
Tweets I liked
Some of the stats in Dubai were dreadful! Here’s just a small collection…
There were some quality performances though; Julia Goerges produced a simply sensational display in the first round to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova for the loss of just one game.
Thanks again to Jimmie48 for his awesome photos from Dubai. This first one of Petra is one of my favourite of the year so far! 🙂
Here’s a hotshot from Jelena Jankovic in her first round win against Belinda Bencic.
I loved the dip on this pass from Elina Svitolina to set up match point in her quarter-final win over CoCo Vandeweghe.
Belinda Bencic always gives good handshakes, win or lose :-).
Click on the link HERE for an interview with the always wonderfully open, Andrea Petkovic after her first round win against Camila Giorgi.
I hope Caroline Garcia continues to do well because she sounds like fun in press.
Strycova’s smile in this post-match interview was infectious.
Svitolina is much more comfortable on camera and in press these days… she’s going to get a lot of questions about Justine!
Revengeeeee… didn’t happen on this occasion!
Always enjoy Women’s Tennis Blog’s daily picture round-ups… here’s day 1 but they are all worth a read!
Reem Abulleil did some great pieces for Sport 360. Here’s an interview with Petra Kvitova who talked about why she ended her coaching partnership with David Kotyza.
Exciting or dispiriting? An interesting piece from Steve Tignor about the the upsets in Dubai.
Racket Rally: My one team change for Dubai was to bring in Karolina Pliskova… well done, James. On a positive note, I had a couple of hundred dollars left and bought one share in Sorana Cirstea! At the time of writing, the top five remains similar to last week with zyxn52 leading the way. Star performer so far this week has been moonih who has 50 shares in DelPo! To join RR or update your team, click HERE.
Tennis Draw Challenge: Congrats to GeneM18 who was the winner for Dubai, correctly predicting Errani to the semi-finals and Ivanovic to the quarter-finals. Once again I was dead last haha. Alexander (1HandBH) won Rio, picking Schiavone as champion… nice pick! For the ATP, Tjelay won Marseille, Tom won Delray Beach and Rocket Roddick win Rio. I was in the top four for all three ATP events so better. If you’d like to join in the fun, more details can be found HERE.