February 10, 2023
Top seed Daria Kasatkina survived an early scare to secure her spot in the quarter-finals of the inaugural Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The World Number 8 emerged following tricky conditions with a 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over Jil Teichmann on Thursday at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City.
A slow start from Kasatkina allowed Teichmann to take the lead in a swift first set, before the top ranked player in Abu Dhabi fired back to level the match with a 6-0 second set. In the third set, an early break from the World No.8 helped close out the match.
On her opening victory , Kasatkina said: “It was an important win just to get the confidence of playing and winning in this tournament, and to understand the play on this court with the lights and the difficult conditions with the wind tonight.”
“I’m happy as after that first rough set, I was able to be calm and recover, and find a way to make the opponent uncomfortable. I’m happy that my head was clear and that I was able to win and progress today.”
Elena Rybakina continued her promising start to 2023, winning in straight sets over former world no. 1, Karolina Pliskova to book her place in the quarter-finals. The new world number 10 powered through the wind with a 6-4, 6-2 win her first match in Abu Dhabi to secure her place in the quarter-finals starting on Friday.
Following her victory, Rybakina said: “It was nice to get the victory today – it was challenging today with the conditions with the wind but we have to adapt and overall I’m happy with the win.”
“I enjoy playing in the UAE, I’ve trained for preseason here and it’s always nice to spend time here. I’m looking forward to the next matches and it’s nice to be playing in this new tournament.”
Earlier, Liudmila Samsonova battled past Barbora Krejcikova in a tight encounter, recording a 7-5, 7-6 victory to progress to Friday’s quarter-finals. Krejickova, the Women’s Doubles Champion in last month’s Australian Open, saved five match points before losing out to Samsonova in a second set tiebreak. The victory for Samsonova sets up a quarter-final matchup with World Number 11, Veronika Kudermetova on Friday.
In the doubles quarter-final matches, Luisa Stefani and Shuai Zhang won in straight sets against Kirsten Flipkens and Laura Siegemund with a 6-4, 6-4 victory to stroll into Saturday’s semi-finals. Desirae Krawyck and Guilana Olmos followed with a 6-3 7-6 win over Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic to secure their spot in the semi-finals in Abu Dhabi.
In Friday’s quarter-final matches, American qualifier, Shelby Rogers will take on World No. 9 Belinda Bencic to open the action on Stadium Court, before top seed Daria Kasatkina faces Qinwen Zheng. Haddad-Maia will be aiming for an upset, as she takes on third seed Elena Rybakina with the evening’s final match seeing Veronika Kudermetova go up against Liudmila Samsonova.
In the remaining doubles’ quarter-final encounter, Miyu Kato and Monica Niculescu will play against Zhaoxuan Yang and Vera Zvonareva on Court 1 for a place in the semi-final on Saturday.