ABU DHABI: Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin of the United States came back from match point down to beat Yulia Putintseva and reach the quarterfinals of the Abu Dhabi Open.

kenin - Kenin survives Putintseva to reach Abu Dhabi quarters
Sofia Kenin
AFP FILE PHOTO

Kenin posted 57 unforced errors to Putintseva’s 43 but still prevailed 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 over the 13th-seeded Putintseva.

“I felt like today was more of a mental match. I practice with her quite a lot. So, I know her game well,” Kenin said.

Kenin dropped the opening set for the second consecutive match in Abu Dhabi. Putintseva had match point when serving for the match at 6-5 up in the second set, but Kenin saved the point and broke Putintseva’s serve to take the set to a tiebreak.

Next up is a quarterfinal match with ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari, who beat former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 7-5, 6-4, posting 33 winners to five for the more defensive Muguruza. Kenin won her two previous matches against Sakkari, both in three sets in 2018.

Also, Aryna Sabalenka recorded her 12th consecutive win in tour matches with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ons Jabeur. The fourth-seeded Sabalenka earned a measure of revenge for her defeat to Jabeur in their only previous match in the third round of the French Open in October.

Sabalenka has won every match she’s played since the loss to Jabeur at Roland Garros and finished last season with titles at the indoor Ostrava and Linz tournaments.

The win over Jabeur sets up a quarterfinal match against sixth-seeded Elena Rybakina, who beat Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-4 in their third-round match.

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