Monday, February 17, 2014

Navarro, Safarova and Makarova progress to round 2 in Dubai

Carla Suarez Navarro looked in impressive form in her 63 62 win over Nadia Petrova. Petrova wasn't at her best during the match with a series of errors as well as still recovering from injury. Navarro was producing stunning shots and angels throughout the match to give her 16 winners. Meanwhile Petrova produce a shocking 40 unforced errors which and only won 1/6 break points. This outcome was a complete turnaround from last years matches between them both where Navarro only got one game in the entire match! Up next for Navarro is Petra Kvitova who has a first round bye.

Elsewhere there was another disappointing first round loss for young American Sloane Stephens after her 36 57 defeat to Lucie Safarova. Stephens have been criticised recently about her performance on the tour by tennis pundits Claire wood and Jason Goodall with Wood saying:-
Sometimes I look at Sloane Stephens and I think, ‘Is she really enjoying being out there?'" Wood said. "Is she loving the challenge? Does she want to be playing at this level? It just isn’t always obvious that she’s enjoying it.”
In today’s match Stephens produced 11 winners against 29 unforced errors. After losing the first set Stephens had the chance to serve for the second set when she broke Safarova to lead 5-4. It was unfortunately not to be with the Czech player breaking immediate back to make it 5-5. The last two games was a whitewash with Safarova taking them without losing a single point leaving Stephens with a lot to think about.

The only other main draw game to finish so far was a all Russian marathon encounter between Alisa Kleybanova and Ekaterina Makarova. The match lasted a lengthily 2 hours and 52 minuets. Makarova just manage to edge past her Russian compatriot 64 67 64. The match was filed with break of serves (14 games to be exact). Makarova will need to recover from this match quickly as she face late wild card Serena Williams in round two.

Matches still to come on day 1 include Venus Williams against Elena Vesnina and Sorana Cirstea against Roberta Vinci.

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