Rybakina through to Abu Dhabi Open quarter-finals


Elena Rybakina defeated Danielle Collins for a place in the quarter-finals of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, where she joins Barbora Krejčíková, Liudmila Samsonova and Cristina Bucșa, who were also winners on day six of the competition.

Having dispatched former World Number 1 Naomi Osaka in straight sets on Tuesday, Collins confidently started the match, storming through a first set at a fast pace and producing some great tennis.

The set went with serve until Collins broke her opponent at 4-4, subsequently going on to successfully see it out and take a 1-0 lead.

Rybakina’s ranking as World Number 5 quickly became evident in the second as she responded brilliantly, playing with consistency and quality to win 6-3 and force a final set.

Having drawn level, Rybakina clearly sensed a shift in initiative as she stepped it up and took control.

Collins was resolute and persistent, refusing to cave as Rybakina looked to take the match away from her, but ultimately the 2022 Wimbledon champion was simply too strong and sealed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory to set up a quarter-final showdown with Spaniard Cristina Bucșa.

Bucșa went head-to-head with Brit Heather Watson in the day’s final game, and prevailed courtesy of a 7-6, 7-5 victory in what was a tight and entertaining contest.

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo as she was forced to withdraw from the day’s opening match, against Krejčíková, after sustaining an injury to her right thumb.

Krejčíková, leading 6-2, 1-0 at the time of Sorribes Tormo’s withdrawal, automatically advances to the next stage of the tournament.

She will meet Liudmila Samsonova in the quarter-finals following her impressive straight-sets win over Anhelina Kalinina in which she fired five Aces.

The injury to Sorribes Tormo means she and partner Marie Bouzkova have withdrawn from the doubles competition, with scheduled opponents Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands now through to the last four.

They will face Brazilian duo Beatriz Haddad Maia and Luisa Stefani, who produced a dominant display against American pairing Caroline Dolehide and Desirae Krawczyk on Thursday afternoon.

Haddad Maia, who faces Ons Jabeur in the singles quarter-finals on Friday, and Stefani were in control of the contest from the start and the eventual outcome never looked in doubt.

There was also frustration for Magda Linette and partner Bernarda Pera who, having won their last-eight match against Giuliana Olmos and Chan Hao-Ching, were forced to withdraw from the competition after Linette sustained an injury to her left thigh.

Whichever pairing comes out on top in the Linda Noskova / Heather Watson versus Shuko Aoyama / Aleksandra Krunic quarter-final will now advance to the final via Walk Over.

More from Sports