Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei on Saturday endured a grueling schedule at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, losing a tight three-set second-round singles match, before bouncing back to edge a nail-biter and advance to the quarter-finals of the doubles.
After her shock defeat of eighth seed Marketa Vondrousova in the first round on Thursday, Hsieh fell to a 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 defeat to world No. 99 Marta Kostyuk in 2 hours, 14 minutes.
The Taiwanese world No. 67 converted six of eight break points, but could only save six of 14 as the 18-year-old Ukrainian edged her first encounter on the WTA Tour with the 35-year-old veteran.
Hsieh returned to the court later in the second round of the doubles alongside Barbora Krejcikova and the top seeds survived a scare to complete a 6-2, 3-6, 12-10 victory over Sharon Fichman of Canada and Giuliana Olmos of Mexico in 1 hour, 37 minutes.
Hsieh is using the Abu Dhabi tournament as a warm-up for next month’s Australian Open, where she is to be reunited with Barbora Strycova as they bid to go one better than their runners-up finish last year.
The Taiwanese doubles world No. 1 and her Czech partner, ranked No. 7, saved five of nine break points and converted five of 10 to set up a quarter-final against Japanese fifth seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, who had a walkover in the second round.
In other singles matches, Russian qualifier and world No. 292 Anastasia Gasanova sent former top-ranked Karolina Pliskova crashing out in a straight sets triumph.
The 21-year-old Gasanova won 6-2, 6-4 to reach the round of 16 and record her first ever victory over a player in the top 100.
Gasanova, making her main draw debut, needed just 73 minutes to see off the third seed.
“I’m really surprised, but when I woke up today, I thought, ‘Why not? Why can’t I win this match?’” Gasanova said. “Actually, I had thought I would lose in qualies or something like that, but I just kept pushing myself, like, I need to win and I want to win.”
Gasanova goes on to face Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo for a place in the quarter-finals.
Ukrainian second seed Elina Svitolina eased past Russian veteran and two-time Grand Slam runner-up Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-1.
Greece’s Maria Sakkari, seeded nine, defeated US teenager Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-2.
SWEEP THE LEG: Poirier, determined to best McGregor, after losing to him in 2014, used low calf kicks to throw ‘Notorious’ off his stand-up game, before dropping him American underdog Dustin Poirier yesterday shook up the world of mixed martial arts, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. “I’m happy, but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier said, after the referee stepped in after 2 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round to save McGregor from further damage, after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches. The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent,
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