Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep advance at Dubai Championships

Simona Halep- Dubai 2019- Getty
Naomi Osaka blames scrutiny over coaching split for Dubai defeat
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23 February, 2019

The challenger managed just a single point over the last three games as former number one Halep demonstrated her superiority by winning her seventh in the series without a loss.

American Sofia Kenin, victor of last month's Hobart title, defeated Russian 11th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

After the victory, Hsieh will move on to the quarter finals where she will face Czech tennis player, Karolina Pliskova, who is ranked number 5 globally.

Simona went on to do some more shopping and picked up three gifts for her family members including perfume, headphones and baklava.

Hsieh, who has also beaten top players like Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza in the past, says she will continue to fight hard for good results.

Sviolina is on a hot streak in the emirate, winning the last two editions and her last 10 Dubai matches. "It didn't feel like last week", Halep said.

A year ago in Miami, Pliskova prevailed in the deciding tie break and she was in a flawless position today, opening a significant lead before losing the energy and the drive to lose the last six games of the match and push Su-Wei into the semis.

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The Romanian who is now without a coach, was more than pleased with her strong sprint finish to a match which lasted one hour, 20 minutes.

"My mind-set now is just to finish the points as quick as possible". "When I was 0-2 down, I told myself, "Come on, you are here to make history in this tournament".

"And because previous year I wasn't even anywhere close to this ranking and people didn't pay attention to me and that's something that I'm comfortable with". Final set, I did little bit more.

"I just need to try to play my game and be happy on the court, be positive", Hsieh said.

The Romanian will play her quarter-final against a charged-up Belinda Bencic, who saved seven match points before converting the first of her own to beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (9/7). Alison Risk of the USA also advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over France's Alizé Cornet 6-2, 6-3. "I did little bit better, but still was pretty tough".

It was a sad end to a tournament in which she revealed she wanted to become the "Naomi Osaka of Africa", a reference to the trailblazing Japanese world No. 1 who became the first Asian to reach the summit of the rankings.

They traded six successive breaks of serve before world number 67 Mladenovic, 25, held when serving for the match to set up a meeting with Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round.


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