Former champs Ostapenko, Svitolina advance in Dubai

Ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko survived a barrage of aces from qualifier Wang Xiyu to advance to the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The Latvian won the match 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 in 2 hours and 2 minutes.

Elsewhere, no. 15 seed Elina Svitolina collected a hard-earned victory over a fellow Ukrainian.

Svitolina, ranked World No. 20, overcame 30th-ranked Anhelina Kalinina 6-3, 7-6(7) to reach the second round in Dubai for the seventh time in her career.

She had to erase three set points in the second set before closing out the 1-hour and 40-minute victory.

The former World No.3 who won back-to-back Dubai titles in 2017 and 2018, will take on 50th-ranked Tatjana Maria in the second round on Tuesday.

Victoria Azarenka kicked off her campaign with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Arantxa Rus. The win sets up a second-round showdown against No.4 Elena Rybakina.

Elsewhere, 2015 runner-up Karolina Pliskova won her 10th straight match, coming from behind in both sets to defeat wild card Zhang Shuai 6-3, 7-5.

Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced 6-4, 6-3 past Marie Bouzkova, and Anastasia Potapova came from 4-2 down in the third set to defeat Zhu Lin 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

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