x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dubai Tennis Women's Championships, third round live

Get the latest as the action begins from the Aviation Club in Dubai on day four.

Wickmayer saved four match points to shock Australian Open finalist Li Na last night.
Wickmayer saved four match points to shock Australian Open finalist Li Na last night.

Dubai // Flavia Pennetta will meet Alisa Kleybanova in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after a dogged 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 win over Victoria Azarenka.

Pennetta should have won the closed the game in straight sets after taking a 5-1 lead in the second, but Azarenka staged a superb rally, forcing the set into the tie-break where she won 7-2.

Azarenka, the seventh seed, then seemed to be heading for victory, a break up in the deciding set, but Pennetta turned it around to take her place in the last eight.

Meanwhile Vera Zvonerava, the world No 3 and second seed at the championships, has promised to come back stronger after being bundled out in straight sets by Kleybanova.

Zvonerava, who came to Dubai as one of the favourites, was brushed aside 6-3, 6-2 in 91 minutes by Kleybanova in the third round clash on Court 3.

“Definitely it wasn’t my day,” Zvonareva said. “I think I didn’t play too good. Too many unforced errors. Probably one of the worse matches in a while from my part.

“But I think it’s part of the game that you have sometimes these kind of days. She’s a tough opponent, so if you’re not playing at a high level, it’s very difficult to beat her.

“So I just have to think about it. I have to analyse a little bit why this, why that, so I can improve and do better next week.”

The defeat has raised further questions about Zvonareva’s mental blocks, but the Russian brushed aside the concerns.

“It’s part of the game,” she said. “Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. But I won a lot of good matches last year, and I look at that as a positive thing.

“You know, I’ve been in many finals; that’s a great thing. I’m trying to improve every day. Hopefully one day, if I work hard, I will win a title.

“But it’s impossible to do it every single week. I try to improve. I try to think over, and I know that I will have some bad days. But even if I have the bad days, I still manage to win a lot of the matches. That is a great experience.

“But today I needed a little bit more. Well, we will see. I’ll try to do better next time.”

12.40 pm: A warm welcome from the Aviation Club in Dubai where we are set to roll with the third-round matches of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Dubai Tennis Championships.

Samantha Stosur and Patty Schnyder are on Centre Court to start the fourth day's proceedings.

Schnyder, who defeated Ana Ivanovic in the first round before knocking out Jie Zheng, both in three sets, will be keen to make her final appearance in Dubai a memorable one. The 32-year-old, who has been on the Tour since 1993, is expected to announce her retirement in the coming days.

Pity not many people were in the stands to cheer her on. It is weekend, but there are still a lot of empty seats on Centre Court. The organisers must be hoping things will improve through the day.

The second match on Centre Court will feature Francesca Schiavone, the world No 4, and two-time grand slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. Victoria Azarenka and Flavia Pennetta follow after that, and at 7pm, the top seed Caroline Wozniacki will meet Ayumi Morita.