Wednesday was a day full of red hot tennis action inside the Aviation Club Tennis Center, as the third round of the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships had plenty of surprises in store.
Those players who had the misfortune to play during the day session were met by rather challenging conditions of a very hot day in Dubai. The desert sun came down mercilessly on the courts and temperatures reached up to 41 degrees Celsius at times.
The first of the big names to enter the stadium was Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska and the challenging temperatures were the last thing the 2012 Dubai champion needed. Feeling unwell all week, Radwanska was unable to cope both with the heat and with the excellent form of Garbine Muguruza, who clinched a comfortable two-set victory.
One Dubai champion followed the next one as the reigning trophy holder Venus Williams was next, playing Lucie Safarova. Like Radwanska, Williams found herself unable to live up to the expectations the event had set into her and Safarova stormed to an impressive two-set win, setting her up with a quarterfinal clash with fellow Czech, friend Karolina Pliskova. Pliskova made the final eight by upsetting crowd favorite Ana Ivanovic. Unlike Radwanska & Venus, the Serbian at least got a set out of it, before having to pack and leave for Monterrey.
While Ivanovic was already saying her goodbyes to Dubai, Petra Kvitova was still out on Court 1, fighting for survival herself. The Wimbledon champion lost her first set to plucky Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, only to recover in the second and force the decider. With the third set being in the balance for most parts, Suarez Navarro kept her cool in the deciding moments, sending the next tournament favorite on her way out of Dubai.
While the day session was all about surprising results and the big names stumbling, the night session was about the remaining favorites asserting their dominance on their way into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarterfinals.
After dropping the first few games against Tsvetana Pironkova, crowd favorite Simona Halep cruised to a straight-set victory in little more than an hour, cheered on by her army of loyal Romanian fans that might get to witness her go all the way this week, as Halep has been looking nothing but strong so far.
Halep was followed by Caroline Wozniacki. The #3 seed is the last remaining past Dubai champion in the draw and her hopes of adding a second Dubai trophy to her collection are very well alive following her straight-set win over Alize Cornet.
Even though six of the eight top seeds failed to advance to the round of the final eight, there will be no shortage of quality tennis on Thursday. Several exciting quarterfinal matchups are on the schedule, including the all-Czech duel of Karolina Pliskova & Lucie Safarova and the clash of Spaniards Garbine Muguruza & Carla Suarez Navarro.
As usual, Women’s Tennis Blog will have you covered when the battle for the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship heats up under the desert sun!