Kvitova, Halep breeze into quarters in windy Dubai
Former title-holders Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep battled through brisk desert winds to advance into the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championships yesterday.
Second seed Kvitova, now the highest ranked player remaining in the field after the surprise elimination of Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, outlasted American qualifier Jennifer Brady 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
Crowd favourite and third seed Halep, supported even in the middle of a workday by scores of chanting, enthusiastic local Romanian fans, beat Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine 6-3, 7-5, breaking seven times from 10 chances.
The challenger managed just a single point over the last three games as former No. 1 Halep demonstrated her superiority, amid gusty conditions, by winning her seventh in the series without a loss.
Kvitova will next face Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova, who reached a last-eight place for the second time this year after Auckland through a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 defeat of American Sofia Kenin.
The Czech, who won the Dubai trophy in 2013, admitted that she came into the week somewhat unprepared, last playing at St Petersburg a fortnight ago.
"When I came here, I didn't have many days of practice,"Kvitova said.
"But I'm happy... It's great when you're not playing your best and you still find a way to win." - AFP