Dubai: Three of the top five seeds were bundled out of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday with US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova among the victims.
The Czech second seed, weekend Doha WTA winner, was dumped out of the second round in straight sets by France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4.
Number three Dominika Cibulkova fell victim to Russian Ekaterina Makarova. The Russian who knocked Cibulkova out in the Melbourne third round used lessons learned in Australia to repeat the feat against the third seed, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
"It was a tough match again against Domi. Like always, we have three sets," the winner said. "I started really good with aggressive tennis.
"In the second set, maybe I started to think that I'm playing so good or she's missing too much. I knew that she is a fighter and she will never give up, and she will fight and run and hit.
"Beating her at the Open helped a lot, I was believing more and I knew what to do, how to play, where to go, yeah, I was believing that I can beat her."
Roland Garros champion and fifth seed Garbine Muguruza lasted for less than 30 minutes on court, retiring at 1-4 in the first set with a foot injury in her second round match against Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine.
The physio called it an ankle problem while Muguruza insisted it was an Achilles tendon worry left over from last week in Doha.
"It's not ankle, that's ridiculous. The doctor said maybe it's just inflammation. I have to do an MRI," Muguruza said.
"I don't think it's something big, but it's very irritated and it's really bothering me every time I have to run on the court," the 2015 semi-finalist said. "Every time you walk, to kind of have a pain there. It's kind of new one, honestly."
Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 tournament winner, beat Belgian Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-2 to progress to the third round.
Elena Vesnina doubled up the day's Russian victory count, beating Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 7-5 while Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig accounted for French 15th seed Caroline Garcia 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki beat Swiss Viktorija Golubic 6-4, 6-2 and Ana Konjuh eliminated Australian 12th seed Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-3.
Updated Date: Feb 21, 2017 22:37 PM