In Tuesday's night match on Stadium Court at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, qualifier Yulia Putintseva defeated 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu 7-6(2), 6-2 in their first-round clash.
In their first meeting at a Hologic WTA Tour event, World No.45 Putintseva of Kazakhstan took an hour and 40 minutes to oust Canada's Andreescu, ranked No.37. Putintseva had 21 winners to 16 unforced errors, and she converted five of her nine break points.
"I think the first set was a really physical set, we played really, really tough rallies," Putintseva said afterwards. "I was feeling a little bit more confident in the second set, and I was like, ‘You have to put pressure now,’ and it worked out well."
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Six of the first eight games went to the returner, but the players held serve more handily as they neared the first-set tiebreak. In the breaker, Putintseva deployed drop shots and slices to great effect, taking a 6-0 lead. Putintseva converted her third set point with her second ace of the day.
Racing to the finish line 🏁— wta (@WTA) February 7, 2023
🇰🇿 Yulia Putintseva completes the second-round lineup in Abu Dhabi by defeating Andreescu 7-6(2), 6-2.@MubadalaADOpen | #MubadalaAbuDhabiOpen pic.twitter.com/4UGetan41R
Putintseva continued to hold the momentum in the second set, where she raced to a 4-0 lead. Serving for the match at 5-2, Putintseva fended off a break point before closing out the win.
Highlights: Haddad Maia def. Bouzkova
Putintseva booked a second-round meeting with No.6 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil. Haddad Maia, the World No.14, overcame Marie Bouzkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in two-and-a-half hours to claim her opening-round victory.
"I have to stay low on my legs and be ready for a tough battle," Putintseva said, looking ahead to Haddad Maia.
Great first match at @MubadalaADOpen 🎾🇦🇪🥰 https://t.co/OQ4TqgO5Dq— Barbora Krejcikova (@BKrejcikova) February 7, 2023
2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic was also a first-round winner on Tuesday, easing past qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania 6-1, 6-4.
Krejcikova won 80 percent of her first-service points and converted five of her seven break points on her way to a 1-hour and 14-minute win. Krejcikova is up to 2-0 against Ruse, having won their previous meeting at 2019 Bucharest in three sets.
Krejcikova is now 5-2 in singles this year, with a run to the Australian Open Round of 16 last month behind her. Krejcikova also won her seventh Grand Slam women's doubles title alongside Katerina Siniakova in Melbourne.
47 minutes 😳— wta (@WTA) February 7, 2023
🇨🇿 @KaPliskova makes a statement in Abu Dhabi with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Bonaventure.@MubadalaADOpen | #MubadalaAbuDhabiOpen pic.twitter.com/ePKpQeY9uv
Also on Tuesday, two Top 20 players, Liudmila Samsonova and Karolina Pliskova, picked up first-round victories over lucky losers.
No.8 seed Samsonova pulled off a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 comeback over Claire Liu. Despite dropping a set, World No.19 Samsonova won 86 percent of her first-serve points to oust Liu, who replaced Paula Badosa when the Spaniard withdrew due to an upper respiratory illness.
Samsonova will next face Krejcikova in the second round.
World No.20 Pliskova made swift passage into the second round with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Ysaline Bonaventure. Former World No.1 Pliskova never faced a break point in the 47-minute victory over Bonaventure, who replaced another former World No.1, Garbiñe Muguruza, in the draw.
Pliskova, the highest-ranked unseeded player in the draw, now has to face this year’s Australian Open runner-up, No.3 seed Elena Rybakina, in the second round.