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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Games to watch and predictions for Day 4

Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza all in action

Games to watch on Day 4 of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: (x-denotes seed).

1-Elina Svitolina (UKR) v Naomi Osaka (JPN)

2pm, Centre Court

Svitolina had said pre-tournament that she wanted to be more consistent. If her second-round win over Qiang Wang is anything to go by the world No 4 still has some work to do as it took her three sets to see off the Chinese player. Osaka is a promising prospect but if Svitolina finds her range with her searing groundstrokes from the back of the court then she will be hard to stop.

Prediction: Svitolina in straight sets

Angelique Kerber will face No 3 seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals. Mahmoud Khaled / EPA
Angelique Kerber will face No 3 seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals. Mahmoud Khaled / EPA

3-Karolina Pliskova 3 (CZE) v 6-Angelique Kerber (GER)

Second match on Centre Court

Pliskova was honest enough to admit she did not play well in beating Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday. If she serves as badly as she did then against Kerber she will have no chance of reaching the semi-finals. Kerber is back to the sort of form that saw her win two majors and go to world No 1 in 2016 and she can keep her renaissance going here.

Prediction: Kerber in three sets

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Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates victory against Catherine Bellis of USA. Francois Nel/Getty Images
Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates victory against Catherine Bellis of USA. Francois Nel/Getty Images

5-Caroline Garcia (FRA) v 2-Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

Third match on Centre Court - not before 7pm

This will be a tough test for Muguruza, who faces being back on court on Thursday night having only left Centre Court at 1.50am in the morning after seeing off CiCi Bellis in straight sets. Garcia has been impressive in reaching the last eight and she showed good resolve in getting past Ekaterina Makanrova on Wednesday afternoon. Muguruza is 2-0 in career meetings with Garcia, having beaten her as recently as last week in Doha, and it will be a shock if she does not complete a hat-trick of wins.

Prediction: Muguruza in three sets

Elena Vesnina of Russia prepares to serve against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Mahmoud Khaled/EPA
Elena Vesnina of Russia prepares to serve against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Mahmoud Khaled/EPA

Daria Kasatkina (RUS) v Elena Vesnina (RUS)

Final match on Centre Court

A battle of the two remaining Russians in Dubai. Both come into the match after knocking out seeds. Vesnina was impressive in capitalising on the errors of fourth-seed Jelena Ostapenko, while Kasatkina showed plenty of endurance and mental strength in defeating seventh seed Johanna Konta. Kasatkina, 20, spent almost three hours on court in defeating the Briton. While it will be a test Kasatkina should still have too much for her compatriot Vesnina.

Prediction: Kasatkina in three sets

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