Tue, Feb 19, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei stuns 10th seed in Dubai

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters

Russia’s Daria Kasatkina returns to Magdalena Frech of Poland in their Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships singles match in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Sunday pulled off a shock victory over 10th seed Anastasija Sevastova in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, while Russia’s Daria Kasatkina had to rally from a break down in the deciding set to advance to the second round.

World No. 31 Hsieh saved three of four break points and converted four of 12 in her 6-4, 6-2 win over the Latvian world No. 11.

Hsieh fired down one ace and won 68 percent of points on her first service in 70 minutes to advance to a second-round clash with Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who fought back from a disastrous start to defeat Ekaterina Makrova of Russia 0-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The Taiwanese has a 2-0 career record against the Belarussian after beating her in Doha last week and in Tokyo in 2017.

Kasatkina fought back to beat Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Before arriving in Dubai, 11th seed Kasatkina had lost all four of the matches she had contested this season and on Sunday she struggled for the majority of the match against Frech, who was playing only her second top-20 opponent.

Trailing 3-0 in the final set, Kasatkina struggled to land her shots and eventually finished with 61 unforced errors, but the Moscow Open champion continued to back her aggressive approach and was rewarded when two consecutive forehands found the baseline to hand her a break in the seventh game.

Three backhand winners helped her fend off a break point at 4-4, before a string of powerful forehand ensured she claimed the final five games of the match to book a place in the second round.

Former world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza was also forced to work hard for her 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Dayana Yastremska, recording her first win in three meetings with the Ukrainian teenager.

Muguruza put together a clinical performance, converting eight of 11 break points against Yastremska, who is the only teenager in the top 50.

The Spaniard next faces China’s Zheng Saisai in the second round.

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