Second-round action continued on Day 4 of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, and seeded players were in the ascendancy as No.1 Daria Kasatkina, No.3 Elena Rybakina and No.8 Liudmila Samsonova all made the last eight.

[1] Daria Kasatkina d. Jil Teichmann 1-6, 6-0, 6-2

Kasatkina needed to turn her clash with Jil Teichmann on its head after a slow start to triumphin 1 hour and 43 minutes. 

Kasatkina had not lost a set to Teichmann in two previous meetings, but the Swiss player's swashbuckling style was in dominant form at the start of their match. Swarming the net at every opportunity, Teichmann flashed 13 winners in seven games past the World No.8, sealing the set with a remarkable pickup.

It was the fifth consecutive set in which Kasatkina had won two or fewer games following her 6-0, 6-2 loss to Belinda Bencic in the Adelaide 2 final and her 6-1, 6-1 defeat by Varvara Gracheva in the first round of the Australian Open.

But the Roland Garros semifinalist adjusted her tactics in gusty conditions to turn the match around. She found greater depth on her groundstrokes to keep Teichmann away from the net, and drew the World No.28 into lengthier rallies. Consequently, Teichmann racked up 31 unforced errors in the last two sets compared to just 10 in the first.

Kasatkina also pulled out some crowd-pleasing shots of her own, particularly with her signature jumping backhand. In the final game, her speed was enough to counter a last-ditch tactical switch from Teichmann to serve-and-volleying.

"In these tough conditions with the wind, as soon as you lose a little bit of focus the game can change completely, and this is what happened at the beginning," said Kasatkina. "I was a little bit lost with the lights, with the wind but then I found a way to play more safe."

Kasatkina's next test will be the 20-year-old Zheng Qinwen in the last eight.

[3] Elena Rybakina d. Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2

Jorge Ferrari

Riding high after a run to her second major final at the Australian Open, Elena Rybakina eased past former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova in just 69 minutes.

In a clash of two of the biggest servers on tour, it was Pliskova who had the better numbers on paper: a 73% first serve percentage compared to a subpar 46% for Rybakina. But the efficacy of the latter's second delivery was crucial. Rybakina won 68% of her second serve points, while Pliskova managed only 20%.

Rybakina was also adept at seizing her opportunities. Pliskova offered up two double faults in the first game of the match, and Rybakina pounced with a forehand winner to capture the decisive break of the first set. Similarly, she claimed the first of two breaks in the second set with one of her best points of the day, finished with a pinpoint off backhand.

[8] Liudmila Samsonova d. Barbora Krejcikova 7-5, 7-6(6)

Jorge Ferrari

Earlier, Samsonova reached her first quarterfinal of the season after holding off comebacks from Krejcikova in both sets. Currently at a career high of No.19, Samsonova led 4-1 in the first set and 5-2 in the second, but ultimately needed all of her resilience to come through both in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

Highlights: Samsonova d. Krejcikova

Former Roland Garros champion Krejcikova won four straight games to serve for the first set at 5-4, and staved off the first five match points she faced in the second as she forced a tiebreak. But while both players racked up over 30 unforced errors, Samsonova was marginally steadier in the bigger moments. After saving a set point in the tiebreak, she converted her sixth match point as a Krejcikova pass went wide.

Samsonova will face No.4 seed Veronika Kudermetova in the quarterfinals.