Snigur upsets third seed on opening day at Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge


2019 runner-up joined by last year’s semi-finalist Hercog as seeds three seeds ease through

Former runner-up Daria Snigur caused the biggest upset knocking off third seed Xinyu Wang 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-1, to be joined by three more seeded players in the next round on the opening day of the 24th Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge.

Snigur, who lost to Romania’s Ana Bogdan here in the 2019 singles final, bid her time before easing her way past the third-seeded Chinese in three sets in 107 minutes on court.

“I was nervous out there. In the second set I didn’t know what was happening as it was hot and I was feeling very tired trying to hang in there,” Snigur said after her match.

“At the same time, I wanted to play some good tennis and attack every ball as I knew I was up against one of the best players. In the end the key was to concentrate all the time,” she added.

Now past the first hurdle, the 19-year-old from Ukraine hoped she can bring out her best game during this week. “Dubai is one of my best destinations on the circuit. I love this place and the atmosphere, and it would mean so much if I can continue winning. But then, it’s one day at a time,” Snigur related.

Also advancing to the second round was eighth seed Polona Hercog with a lop-sided 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win against wild card from Egypt, Sandra Samir in two hours and 19 minutes.

“The first step for me was to get used to the conditions. There was a lot of breeze and the ball was flying around. I knew I had to just win the points while hanging in there, and the key of course was to serve well,” Hercog said.

“I also knew that I had to be patient with my game, give myself a few games and get my rhythm. And in case things weren’t exactly going my way then I had to implement Plan B or Plan C as the case may be,” she added.

“Winning the opening round is always a bonus and I hope to carry forward this form into the next few days here. I made the semi-finals last year and it will be good to take a step further this time,” Hercog related.

Joining them was seventh seed Lesia Tsurenko with a swift 6-3, 7-5 win over Lina Glushko of Israel, while sixth seed Viktoriya Tomova needed three sets before winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 against Dutch girl, Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove from the Netherlands.

Results (Round One of main draw of 24th Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge at Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa, on Monday) Polona Hercog bt Sandra Samir 1-6, 6-3, 6-1; Daria Snigur bt Xinyu Wang 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-1; Anastasia Gasanova bt Anna Danilina 6-1, 6-4; Lesia Tsurenko bt Lina Glushko 6-3, 7-5; Viktoria Kuzmova x Mai Hontama 5-7, 6-3, 6-3; Viktoriya Tomova vs Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

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