Maria Sakkari scores another big win as she dumps out Sofia Kenin in Abu Dhabi while Elina Svitolina also falls
The top two seeds both crashed out of the Abu Dhabi Open at the quarter-final stage as Maria Sakkari accounted for Sofia Kenin’s exit while Veronika Kudermetova ended Elina Svitolina’s run.
For the second match in a row, Sakkari sent a Grand Slam winner packing as the ninth seed beat two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza in the third round and followed it up with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Australian Open champion Kenin on Monday.
— wta (@WTA) January 11, 2021
After dominating the first set, Kenin lost her way badly as Sakkari won 10 of the final 12 games.
“Beating these players this week it means a lot,” the Greek said after her victory. “I’m playing players that I’ve never played, like [Muguruza] yesterday, so I have a better idea if I play them again. So in general it gives me a lot of confidence starting the year like that and I’m super happy to travel to Australia with some good matches with me.”
Next up is fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka after the world No 10 defeated Elena Rybakina 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
“[Sabalenka is] super confident now,” Sakkari said. “We know each other really well, we practice a lot together. She’s having a great career so far and she’s really young. She’s one of the toughest players to play out there. I beat her once so I think I can do it again. I’m not saying I will for sure, but it’s going to be a very tough match for both.”
Second seed Svitolina also lost after winning the opening set with the unseeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova scoring a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) win.
Kudermetova, who will face Marta Kostyuk for a place in the final, broke in game 11 of the decider to reach the semi-final.
The 18-year-old Kostyuk overcame a nightmare start to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Australian Open boss defends ‘better deal’ for the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams
Big-name players self-isolating in Adelaide.
Rotterdam Open boss reveals delight as ‘one of his all-time favourite players’ Rafael Nadal joins field
Rafael Nadal will return to Rotterdam.
Roberto Bautista Agut says quotes comparing quarantine to ‘jail, but with WiFi’ was ‘taken out of context’
Roberto Bautista Agut issues an apology.
More coronavirus cases linked to arrivals for Australian Open
Australian Open boss said the safety of the Victorian community will not be compromised.
Big boost for LTA’s innovation drive as it signs deal with UK distributor of the Slinger Bag
LTA signs deal with Framework Sports & Marketing Ltd.
Australian Open chief defends Novak Djokovic over quarantine note, saying ‘they were suggestions’
Craig Tiley jumps to Novak Djokovic’s defence.
Quarantine remains in place for 72 players ahead of Australian Open
Two Covid-19 cases have been deemed viral shedding.
EXCLUSIVE – British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith recalls sitting next to Judy Murray as her son won Wimbledon
We talk to Leon Smith about his coaching journey.
Australian Open tension boiling over as players, pundits, ex-pros, fans involved in social media spats
It’s all kicking off on social media.
Roberto Bautista Agut slams quarantine restrictions saying ‘it’s like being in jail, but with WiFi’
“These people have no idea,” says Roberto Bautista Agut.