DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Top-seeded Simona Halep’s first match since losing to Garbine Muguruza in the Australian Open semifinals was a tough 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7) win over Ons Jabeur at the Dubai Championships on Wednesday.
Halep saved a match point in the two-hour match against Jabeur, who lost to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open.
“It was like a football match or a Fed Cup match, I didn’t really realize what was going on on court,” said Halep. “Everyone was with a lot of energy so we had to give our best. I think it was a great match.”
Halep will meet Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals after Sabalenka beat Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-3. Anett Kontaveit beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (5), 7-5 and will play Petra Martic, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-3.
Elena Rybakina beat Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-3 and plays Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals. Pliskova beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-1 6-2.
In the last quarterfinal match-up, Jennifer Brady will play Muguruza. Brady beat Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 and Muguruza defeated Veronika Kudermetova 7-5 4-6 6-4.
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