World No.1 Iga Swiatek swept into the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday, besting No.14 seed Liudmila Samsonova 6-1, 6-0 in their Round of 16 showdown.

Swiatek has won her past five matches, including a successful title defense at Doha last week. But this will be Swiatek's first appearance in the Dubai quarterfinals -- last year, she lost in the second round to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Fast facts: In their lone previous meeting, Samsonova pushed Swiatek to three sets in a three-hour Stuttgart semifinal last year before Swiatek prevailed to maintain her undefeated 2022 clay-court season.

This time around, Swiatek had a far easier time, dropping only a single game en route to the 76-minute win. Swiatek finished the match with 18 winners to just six unforced errors, and she never faced a break point. Swiatek is now 35-0 at WTA 1000 events after she wins the first set.

Key moments: Samsonova hung with Swiatek in a number of long games, but the top seed ended up on the winning end of almost all of them, gritting out a tough hold for 2-1, then breaking for 3-1 after Samsonova held game point.

Another break for 5-1 followed, where Swiatek erased a Samsonova game point once again. In the next game, Swiatek fired a backhand winner to convert her first set point.

Swiatek took command for good by grinding through a break for 3-0 in the second set, converting her sixth break point of that titanic game. Swiatek won the last 11 games in a row to take the victory.

Pliskova gives Swiatek walkover into semifinals: Swiatek was scheduled to take on former Dubai finalist Karolina Pliskova in Thursday's quarterfinals, following Pliskova's Round of 16 win over Anhelina Kalinina.

But later on Wednesday evening, Pliskova withdrew from the event due to viral illness.

Pliskova prevails over Kalinina before withdrawal

Pliskova was one of seven former Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships finalists to have made this year's third round, and she became the first of them into the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-2 defeat of Kalinina.

The result put the Czech in the last eight in Dubai for the fifth time in total and first since 2020, but her withdrawal means she will advance no further. Pliskova has not reached the semifinals here since finishing runner-up to Simona Halep in 2015.

Photo by Jimmie48/WTA

In Pliskova's match with Kalinina, the first two sets were tightly contested and almost identical. Pliskova raised her game at the end of each to break for 6-5, serving out the first comfortably. But the second saw a plot twist as Kalinina saved two match points, the second with a bold drop shot, and forced a decider.

Highlights: Pliskova def. Kalinina

But Pliskova recovered to take a firm hold of the decider as Kalinina, who had needed 3 hours and 3 minutes to upset No.10 seed Veronika Kudermetova in the first round, faded away. The former World No.1 converted her third match point with a pinpoint backhand winner down the line.

Pliskova came away with a 100% break-point conversion rate, having taken all four of her chances. By contrast, Kalinina could only convert one of her four opportunities. Pliskova also landed 45 winners, including 13 aces, to Kalinina's 43.

Gauff, Keys advance to quarterfinal meeting

Americans Coco Gauff and Madison Keys will face off in the quarterfinals in Dubai. No.5 seed Gauff advanced to that round after No.9 seed Elena Rybakina withdrew from their scheduled Round of 16 match due to a lower back injury.

World No.23 Keys booked her quarterfinal spot with a 6-2, 6-1 win over No.15 seed Victoria Azarenka. Keys needed just 57 minutes to claim her first victory over Azarenka in their five career meetings.

Highlights: Keys def. Azarenka

Azarenka's movement was visibly hampered in the match, although the former World No.1 initially kept points short with solid forehand winners. But Keys took charge by breaking for 4-2 with a backhand pass, two return winners, and an Azarenka double fault on break point.

Azarenka double faulted again on Keys's second set point to cede the one-set lead to the American. Keys quickly raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set, and she finished up the win two games later without facing a break point all day.

Keys and Gauff have split their two previous meetings. Keys took a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 win in Adelaide last year, but Gauff leveled their rivalry with a 6-2, 6-3 victory in the third round of the 2022 US Open.