Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova won their Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships openers Tuesday. WTA Rising Star Zarina Diyas rose up against the World No.10.
WTA Staff
January 19, 2017

DUBAI, UAE - Simona Halep got her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday night, outdoing Pattaya City champion Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Dubai right here on wtatennis.com!

The early goings were close, with Halep getting one break for a 3-2 lead, but the No.1-seeded Romanian reeled off nine games in a row from there to completely run away with it, 6-2, 6-0.

It ended the Slovak's six-match winning streak that started in Pattaya and continued in Dubai.

"I think she was a little bit tired because she came from Pattaya," Halep said afterwards. "Maybe I was more fresh, and I was running very well. My shots were very, very strong and very deep, too.

"I played good tennis and I'm happy I found the way to win my first match here in Dubai."

It was a good day for the other Top 8 seeds too, with No.2 seed Petra Kvitova rallying to beat Elina Svitolina, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, No.3 seed Caroline Wozniacki surviving a 76-minute third set to get by Sam Stosur, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, No.4 seed Ana Ivanovic winning the first eight games in a 6-0, 6-3 win over Sabine Lisicki, No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska outdoing Caroline Garcia, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, No.6 seed Ekaterina Makarova beating Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova, 6-3, 6-3, and No.7 seed Angelique Kerber fighting off five set points in the first set to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-6(9), 6-4.

Kvitova trailed Svitolina, 6-2, 1-0, and faced four points to go down 6-2, 2-0.

"I'm not sure where I was in the first set. I don't think I was on the court," Kvitova said.

"But that happens sometimes. I think I was too hectic. I really wanted to play aggressively and I made a lot of mistakes. Very easy balls, I just gave them away for free. It was tough in the end to not play as aggressive but still play aggressive, but I'm glad I kept fighting until the end and got through it.

"I knew it was going to be tough. I lost to her in Cincinnati last year."

A few of the other seeds were picked off, though, with No.9 seed and new Antwerp champion Andrea Petkovic falling to Zarina Diyas, 7-5, 6-3, No.12 seed Jelena Jankovic falling to Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-3, 6-1, and No.16 seed Peng Shuai losing to Tsvetana Pironkova in a marathon, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).

Muguruza and Diyas are two of the leading WTA Rising Stars, and it was a particularly massive win for Diyas - the Kazakhstani's win over the No.10-ranked Petkovic was the second Top 10 win of her career, her first coming all the way back in 2010 at Moscow over then-World No.7 Jankovic.

No.10 seed Flavia Pennetta, No.11 seed Lucie Safarova, No.13 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, No.15 seed Alizé Cornet and No.17 seed Karolina Pliskova rounded out the second round winners.