Svitolina in Abu Dhabi Spherical 3

Abu Dhabi, January 9

Elina Svitolina reached the third round of the Abu Dhabi Open with a 6-4 6-1 win over Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva on Saturday as Karolina Pliskova was eliminated in straight sets by a qualifier.

Svitolina will play either 17th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova or Britain’s Heather Watson in the third round after a routine win over Zvonareva in just over an hour.

Third-seeded Pliskova was beaten 6-2 6-4 by Russian qualifier Anastasia Gasanova, who was ranked 292nd in her first tour main draw and had never before played anyone ranked in the top 100. Next up for Gasanova is a third-round meeting with Sara Sorribes Tormo.

“It’s like it was not me on the court. I was so sure of myself,” Gasanova said of her breakthrough win.

“It’s like when I step on the court, I’m a different person, I’m more angry.”  

Sixth-seeded Elena Rybakina converted her fifth match point to seal a 6-4 6-4 win over Wang Xiyu of China. Rybakina next plays Daria Kasatkina, who advanced to the third round by walkover after her opponent Karolina Muchova withdrew. AP

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