Elina Svitolina advances in Abu Dhabi, 3rd-seeded Pliskova ousted by qualifier


Elina Svitolina reached the third round of the Abu Dhabi Open with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva on Saturday as Karolina Pliskova was eliminated in straight sets by a qualifier.

Svitolina will play 17th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round after a routine win over Zvonareva in just over an hour.

Third-seeded Pliskova was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Russian qualifier Anastasia Gasanova, who was ranked 292nd in her first tour main draw and had never played anyone ranked in the top 100. Next up for Gasanova is a third-round meeting with Sara Sorribes Tormo.

“It’s like it was not me on the court. I was so sure of myself,” Gasanova said of her breakthrough win. “It’s like when I step on the court, I’m a different person, I’m more angry.”

Seeded fifth, Garbine Muguruza progressed into the third round with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Next up for Muguruza is ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari, who eliminated Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-2.

Sixth-seeded Elena Rybakina converted her fifth match point to seal a 6-4, 6-4 win over Wang Xiyu of China. Rybakina next plays Daria Kasatkina, who advanced to the third round by walkover after her opponent Karolina Muchova withdrew.



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