Home » Vekic spoils Sabalenka’s Dubai Open title bid with upset win

Vekic spoils Sabalenka’s Dubai Open title bid with upset win

by Noe

Aryna Sabalenka’s Dubai Championships title chances stopped cold early as the Belarussian lost to Croatian Donna Vekic on Tuesday.

The world No.2 blew a set and a 2-0 advantage, allowing Venkic to post a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0, in their first-round match. Sabalenka played for the first time since defending her Australian Open title last month.

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Sabalenka was a point away from taking a 3-0 lead in the second until everything crumbled. Vekic won the next three games, broke for 5-3, and served out to tie the match at one set each.

“The level of play was so bad today from me. I feel like the conditions here don’t fit me well at all,” the 25-year-old Miami resident said.

“I won the first set. I was up with break. I didn’t feel like I was up,” she added.

In other matches, world No.1 Iga Swiatek pulled off a come-from-behind 6-4,6-4 win over Sloane Stephens. No.3 Coco Gauff got past Elisabetta Cocciaretto of Italy, 6-1,7-5.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova pulled off a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 decision over Peyton Stearns to advance. It was Vondrousova’s third win over Stearns in eight months.

No.6 Zheng Qinwen, No.8 Maria Sakkari, former champions Jelena Ostapenko and Elina Svitolina hurdled their respective matches to reach the next round.

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