Aryna Sabalenka and Garbine Muguruza saved face for seeds at the WTA Dubai event on Wednesday with the pair squaring off in quarter-final battle..
With No. 10 Elise Mertens the only other seed remaining in the hardcourt field at the Aviation Club, it’s been tough going for the elite this week.
No. 1 Elina Svitolina departed in her opening match while second seed Karolina Pliskova was sent out in the third.
No. 3 Sabalenka defeated Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-2 while ninth seed and double Grand Slam winner Muguruza beat reigning Roland Garros holder Iga Swiatek with the loss of just four games.
“I took my opportunities and I was efficient when I had to break her serve or stay with my own serve,” the Spaniard said..
“I’m happy with the way I started. I was very focussed, very looking forward to the match as well.
“Sometimes you start a little bit off, but today I felt good on the court.”
She added: “I had to stay strong there and not get tense or nervous and try to stay calm to close out the set. I didn’t want to give her a chance to go to a third set.”
Muguruza and Sabalenka stand 1-1 in their series, with the Spaniard winning their match last week in Doha.
Jil Teichmann eliminated local favourite Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-3 6-3 with the Swiss winner now lining up on Thursday against Coco Gauff of the US, who defeated qualifier Tereza Martincova 6-4 6-2.
Main photo:- Aryna Sabalenka by Tennis Australia/ ROB PREZIOSO