Taiwan's Hsieh stuns Kerber to reach Dubai quarters

Simona Halep 2019 Dubai

Dubai 2019: Osaka out, but former champs Kvitova, Halep, Svitolina head to QFs

The Romanian will play her quarter-final against a charged-up Belinda Bencic, who saved seven match points before converting the first of her own to beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (9/7).

"I think they both looked little bit exhausted", Svitolina said of the Halep-Bencic quarterfinal.

"I feel close to my highest level", Halep told a media conference after the win. Could the current world No8 make it a hat-trick in the desert, after the disappointment of letting a 4-1 lead slip in her three-set loss to Halep in Doha last week?

The Ukrainian was rarely in trouble against the two-major victor as she cantered through 6-1, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final with Carla Suarez Navarro on Thursday.

Recently, Osaka ended her partnership with coach Sacha Bajin who had taken up the role in the year 2017.The duo experienced immediate success as Osaka won her firstWTAtitle at the BNP Paribas Open, last March, following which she went on to clinch the 2018 US Open title.

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Mladenovic, ranked 67th, hit less winners than Osaka but converted seven of 10 break points to claim her first win over a world number one.

Hsieh, who recorded her first win in three attempts against Kerber, will next face Karolina Pliskova for a place in her second semi-final of the season, and first since the opening week of 2019 at the Auckland Classic.

But she was not impressed with her own effort. I couldn't really serve well today at all. In the end, we could say I had a very slow start.

She will meet Pliskova in the quarter-finals after the fourth seed battled past Alison Riske 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5).

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova reacts in her match against Jennifer Brady.

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28-year-old Kvitova looked out of sorts in the match initially, losing serve in the third game with two double faults.

"Our defending champion Elina Svitolina played magnificently to reach the quarter-finals and it will take a very special performance to prevent her becoming the first WTA player to win the title for three consecutive years", said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. I had something different to do in my life. It was really helpful for me mentally.

"Yeah, I was trying to find my best game".

"The wind was just awful today, to be honest", said Kvitova after reaching at least the quarter-finals for the fourth successive tournament.

"Everyone thinks it was a money-related issue, but it wasn't", she said.

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