Pliskova crashes out to world number 292 in Abu Dhabi

Tanya Simon
January 12, 2021

Top seed and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin was yesterday dumped out of the season-opening WTA Abu Dhabi event, losing 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 to ninth seed Maria Sakkari.

"I practice with her (Putintseva) quite a bit, and I know her game well, and she knows my game pretty well", Kenin said during her post-match press conference. Up until previous year, I couldn't really control my power so I had to take a little bit of pace off because I was hitting too hard and I was missing many shots.

Russian surprise Veronika Kudermetova beats the Ukraininan Elina Svitolina after three exciting sets, to get the semifinal. Putintseva had match point when serving at 6-5 up in the second set, but Kenin saved the point and broke Putintseva's serve to take the set to a tiebreak. The next step for Gasanova is a third round. meeting with Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Third-seeded Pliskova was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Russian qualifier Anastasia Gasanova, who was ranked 292nd in her first main draw of the tour and had never faced anyone ranked in the top 100 before.

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Pliskova fell to defeat in only 75 minutes on Saturday, the first time she had lost to an opponent outside of the top 50 in over a year.

Sakkari will next face fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who won her 13th straight match by beating Elena Rybakina 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. "It was really tricky for me to come back from being 3-5 down".

Sabalenka has won every match she's played since the loss to Jabeur at Roland Garros, and finished last season with titles at the indoor Ostrava and Linz tournaments.

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