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Jabeur seals first win against Kvitova in Sydney

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Sydney, Jan 12 (IANS) Ons Jabeur defeated two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-4 to cruise into the second round of the Sydney Tennis Classic, here on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Tunisian, seeded seventh in Sydney, came from behind in both sets to defeat Kvitova for the first time to set up a quarter-final against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The fourth-seeded Kontaveit had a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

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“This win was very important,” Jabeur said after the match. “That’s why, for some reason, I was talking to my coach about it, that I wanted to win at least once against her. She’s the kind of player that puts a lot of pressure on me that I don’t particularly like, and that gave me the courage to work on this style of a game.”

“Cincinnati was a very tough loss for me, but she played unbelievably. I’m someone that doesn’t like to go home without any solutions, without knowing what should I do later. … So that helps me to be better on the court and to get back and play better when you play someone that plays like that. I played well. I could have played better but I think I had a goal in my head and I went for it. It’s very important that I managed to really do what I wanted to do.”

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Playing her first match of 2022, Garbine Muguruza started the new year as she ended the last — with a straight-sets win. But she had to find her best tennis to earn it. Saving five set points in a thrilling second set, Muguruza beat Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-1, 7-6(4) to book a place in the quarterfinals.

Muguruza will face Daria Kasatkina, who took out Elise Mertens, 6-3, 6-4 in 71 minutes, for a spot in the semifinals. Muguruza holds a slim 3-2 head-to-head advantage, and all but one of the pair’s all-time matches have stretched to three sets.

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–IANS

inj/cs

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