Dubai: Germany’s Sabine Lisicki and Australian Samantha Stosur joined Simona Halep as the major casualties even as Jelena Jankovic fought hard to advance on the second day of the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Tuesday.
Seeded No.7 here, Halep was expected to do well in Dubai after winning last week’s Qatar Open in Doha. The Romanian was trailing Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 1-6, 1-1 when she retired with a nagging Achilles tendon injury.
Lisicki, the losing finalist at Wimbledon last year, was dismantled by former Dubai champion and ex-world number one Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 while US Open champion Stosur crashed out in three sets 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 to qualifier Annika Beck of Germany. Beck must now contend with Wozniacki.
Cornet next faces the winner of the match between Kirsten Flipkens and qualifier Karolina Pliskova, while Jankovic will meet the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova.
Jankovic expressed relief after her first round win. “I worked really hard. It was not easy. It was quite windy out there, and I felt like I couldn’t play my game totally. So I had to kind of find my way through and I fought hard,” she said.
“My opponent got through the qualifiers, so she already had got used to the conditions. I just came from Doha one day ago, so it’s completely different. Playing there during the night, it’s slower, and here it’s faster and the balls fly and the wind goes quite fast,” she added.
“I cannot say I played so well, but I hung in there and I won my match.”
Tired from her gruelling week in Doha, Halep was not in her best form on centre court. “I was very tired during the match and I felt that I cannot continue, but she played well in the first set, and it isn’t easy to continue the match when you don’t feel 100 per cent and you cannot run, you cannot stop at the balls. It’s not easy,” she said.
Halep was pleased with what she has achieved as she planned a return home for the next 10 days to celebrate her Qatar win. “I played really well last week, and it was a great tournament for me. It was a pleasure to play there and to win the tournament,” she added.
Halep disclosed that the Achilles tendon injury had been a source of concern to her since last week. “During the semi-finals I felt that I can continue and I wanted to do everything I could there, because it was the last matches, and I said that after that I can recover, or can recover better [before coming to Dubai],” she said.
Alize Cornet bt Simona Halep 6-1, 1-1 (retd.)
Caroline Wozniacki bt Sabine Lisicki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Jelena Jankovic bt Maryna Zanevska 6-4, 6-3
Annika Beck bt Samantha Stosur 1-6, 6-1, 6-4