DUBAI, UAE -- American qualifier Jennifer Brady pulled off a stirring comeback in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday, fighting back from a set and 4-1 down to overcome Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
World No.52 Brady, who dispatched two-time Dubai champion Elina Svitolina in the first round for her second Top 10 win of the year, was down a set and two breaks before mounting a stunning charge to collect a come-from-behind victory over the 17th-ranked Czech after a grueling two hours and five minutes of play.
The American claimed 11 of the final 12 games in the first meeting between the two players, as she collected her second Top 20 win of the week. Notably, Brady saved all six break points she faced in the deciding set.
In the quarterfinals, Brady will meet either Russian qualifier Veronika Kudermetova or Australian Open finalist and No.9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain.
The early stages of the match featured both players’ power games with distinctive additional tactics interspersed -- Brady charging to the net for putaways, and Vondrousova deploying devilish dropshots. The American, though, put herself in an early deficit when she dropped serve in the first game after holding game point.
Brady did well to quell a true surge by the Czech, staving off two break points before getting on the scoreboard at 2-1. But the qualifier was never able to get a clear look in on Vondrousova’s delivery in the opening frame, as the Czech left-hander eased through her service games for the most part, never ceding even a break point to Brady in the first set.
At 5-3, Brady double faulted to give Vondrousova a set point, but the American was able to power her way out of danger in that game. Vondrousova, though, would be undaunted in her quest for a one-set lead, firing a huge serve to reach triple set point in the following game. On Vondrousova’s second set point, Brady netted a backhand return, and the Czech went up a set.
Vondrousova was also the dominant force in the first half of the second set, as the Czech broke Brady in the first game again, then used incredible depth of shot to blast her way to a 4-1, double-break advantage.
In the subsequent game, though, Vondrousova began to misfire on her serve, and Brady suddenly grabbed her first two break points of the affair. A long forehand by the Czech gave Brady her first break, and a lifeline. Two games later, Vondrousova’s serve continued to wobble while the Brady power game started to ramp up, and the American clawed back level at 4-4.
At 5-4, Vondrousova found herself in trouble on serve again, as a fabulous forehand on the sideline gave Brady two set points. Vondrousova saved both with forehand winners of her own, but Brady cracked an all-court rally open with a backhand winner down the line, earning a third set point.
At that juncture, Brady once again came up aces in a rally, forcing an error with a backhand to level the match at one set all. After holding no break points through 6-4, 4-1, the American had broken Vondrousova three times successively, as part of a five-game run to take the second set.
Brady took full control of the topsy-turvy tilt in the final set, bravely erasing four break points before holding for 2-1, then earning a critical break for a 3-1 lead. Vondrousova held more break points in the next game, but Brady swatted those away as well, reaching 4-1. The American's forehand allowed her to blast her way through the final two games, wrapping up another upset win.