Qinwen Zheng won the most interesting matchup of both today's WTA tournaments, defeating Jelena Ostapenko in WTA 500 Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open's second round. The match has not disappointed at all, especially with providing an absolute stunning first set.
Ostapenko started well by gaining the quick break and moving into the 3-0 and 4-1 lead. Then, the Chinese fought back with winning 4 games in a row, breaking the Latvian twice in tight games ended up on deuces. Despite moving into the lead, the Chinese did not close the set in her own service game, allowing Ostapenko to level the score. Zheng faced another troubles in 12th games, saving the setpoint within own serve, but cancelled the danger well and moved it into tiebreak. That was an delightful fight with another plot twists in the story of this set. The Latvian had two setpoints, containing the one serving on her own, but did not convert any of them. Then it was Zheng who had 3 set points, all during Ostapenko's serve but her opponent came out of trouble from each of them. The first decisive mini-break difference came out within a 11-10 score (!) with Zheng moving into the lead and serving out the set win after 79 minutes and the epic tiebreak won 12-10.
This intense battle built up the Chinese, who started to dictate her terms on the court and discouraged Ostapenko, who clearly dropped her level. This time, in contrast to the previous round against Danielle Collins, her player box did not come out with a "help" in the form of verbal insulting the opponent, and the Latvian has to pack up herself after two rounds. Big win for Zheng, who advances into quarterfinal, where she will face the winner of match betwen Daria Kasatkina and Jil Teichmann.
Belinda Bencic started her Abu Dhabi campaign well by clinching another straight set win of this year, this time defeating Marta Kostyuk 6-4 7-5. The Swiss will face Shelby Rogers in the QF, who survived the match against Anett Kontaveit which ended up prematurely. The Estonian was a set up, but Rogers fought back in second set and forced the decider. Then, during the third set, Kontaveit felt a pain in her lower back and received a medical treatment. That did not result with a recovery though and Estonian, who clearly suffering with pain, needed to pull out of the match.
The third day of WTA 250 tournament in Linz has contained the finishing of first round and a couple of matches of the second round. Maria Sakkari and Marketa Vondrousova are the first quarterfinalist in Austria. Both were clear favorites of their matches and defeated their opponents in straight sets. Sakkari won 6-4 6-2 against Varvara Gracheva, while the Czech eliminated Rebeka Masarova after a dominant win 6-1 6-1. The seed numer 3 - Irina Camelia Begu, suffered a bitter loss against lucky loser Clara Tauson, who defeated the world's number 27 easily. 6-1 6-2 for the Dane in just 76 minutes.