No.1 seed Elena Rybakina survived Danielle Collins in the second round of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, coming from a set and a break down for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win in 2 hours and 17 minutes.

Rybakina now owns a 3-1 record against the qualifier Collins. Since losing their first encounter at San Jose 2021 in two tiebreaks, Rybakina has won a trio of three-setters over the American. The result moves her into her third quarterfinal of 2024.

Former Wimbledon champion Rybakina has made the last eight every time she has played in Abu Dhabi. She fell at that stage to Aryna Sabalenka in 2021 and to Beatriz Haddad Maia last year. The Kazakhstani will have the opportunity to break through to her first semifinal here against lucky loser Cristina Bucsa, who edged qualifier Heather Watson 7-6(1) 7-5 to reach her first tour-level quarterfinal.

Highlights: Bucsa d. Watson

Rybakina's sole previous meeting with Bucsa was a tight 6-3, 7-5 win in the Adelaide second round last month.

How Rybakina turned the match around: Collins, fresh from a first-round defeat of former World No.1 Naomi Osaka, had a second win over a Grand Slam winner in her sights as she delivered a high-octane first set.

The 30-year-old's intensity was high as she fired a series of winners, particularly off the backhand side, tallying 12 to only five unforced errors. Having dropped just five points behind her first serve against Osaka, Collins maintained its efficiency, conceding only one point behind it in the opener.


Another hefty backhand return sealed an early break lead for Collins in the second set, but Rybakina responded with an immediate break back. The World No.5 was still not in full flow, though, and netted an attempted drop shot to drop serve again and fall behind 3-2.

A four-deuce tussle on the Collins serve followed and would prove to be the turning point. Rybakina converted her fourth break point to level at 3-3 -- the start of a four-game run that took her to the end of the second set.

With all to play for, Rybakina and Collins exchanged two tight service breaks at the start of the decider. But it was Rybakina who made the breakthrough in the fifth game, finding a backhand pass to break for 3-2.

Collins's intensity was ebbing at last -- the World No.71's ratio had tipped to 16 winners and 22 unforced errors in the last two sets, while Rybakina had found 20 winners to 12 unforced errors in the same passage of play. Landing deep returns to draw errors from Collins, Rybakina broke again to seal victory.

Krejcikova, Samsonova to meet in last eight: No.4 seed Barbora Krejcikova and No.8 seed Liudmila Samsonova set a quarterfinal date after coming through their earlier matches on Thursday.

Krejcikova, who had received a first-round bye, advanced when lucky loser Sara Sorribes Tormo was forced to retire trailing 6-2, 1-0 with a right hand injury. The Spaniard had fallen and landed on her hand when reacting to a Krejcikova drop shot trailing 3-2 in the first set.

Samsonova, the 2023 finalist, raced past Anhelina Kalinina 6-1, 6-3 in just 68 minutes and has conceded only five games in two matches so far this week. She has split two previous meetings with Krejcikova, both last year, defeating the Czech 7-5, 7-6(6) in the second round here but losing 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of Stuttgart.

- Insights from
barbora krejcikova
More Head to Head
33.3% Win 1
- Matches Played
66.7% Win 2
liudmila samsonova