The top two seeds in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships lost a combined three games while cruising to second-round wins on Tuesday in the United Arab Emirates.
No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland, the reigning French Open and U.S. Open champion, routed Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-1, 6-1, and No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, the reigning Australian Open champion, demolished the United States’ Lauren Davis 6-0, 6-1.
Swiatek was on court for 72 minutes three days after capturing the Qatar TotalEnergies Open championship in Doha. Sabalenka completed her day’s work in 59 minutes.
Third-seeded Jessica Pegula of the United States, who lost to Swiatek in the Doha final, got past Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 in the second round at Dubai.
American Madison Keys upset fourth-seeded Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-4. Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic crushed sixth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 6-2, and the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova knocked out seventh-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
Fifth-seeded Coco Gauff of the United States, eighth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, ninth-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, 12th-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, 13th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, 14th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova of Russia and 15th-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus all advanced to the third round.
Merida Open Akron
Sloane Stephens finally won a match to open her fourth tournament of 2023, as the second-seeded American defeated French qualifier Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-3 in the first round at Merida, Mexico.
Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, had lost her first-round matches at Auckland, New Zealand; Hobart, Australia; and the Australian Open to begin the year. Against Jeanjean, she saved both of the break points she faced and converted four of her five break opportunities.
Top-seeded Magda Linette of Poland came from behind to beat Camila Osorio of Colombia 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-2.
Also moving on to the second round were fourth-seeded Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, fifth-seeded Alycia Parks of the United States, Xinyu Wang of China, Varvara Gracheva of Russia and Panna Udvardy of Hungary and Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson.
–Field Level Media