Dubai Duty Free Tennis: Samsonova overcomes Badosa in three-set thriller

The 14th seeded Russian staged a stunning fightback to beat Badosa 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to advance to the second round

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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Liudmila Samsonova serves during her match in Dubai on Sunday. — Photo by Ehaab Qadeer
Liudmila Samsonova serves during her match in Dubai on Sunday. — Photo by Ehaab Qadeer

Published: Sun 19 Feb 2023, 7:29 PM

Liudmila Samsonova continued her great early season form with a hard-fought three-set win over Spaniard Paula Badosa as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships got underway at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Sunday.

The 14tn seeded Russian staged a stunning fightback to beat Badosa 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to advance to the second round in Dubai, having finished runner-up at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open earlier this month.

“Yes, I'm very, very happy about this (victory). I didn't expect the result in Abu Dhabi. I didn't play so good in Australia. It was unbelievable for me. I just said, ‘okay, let's keep working on every point’,” Badosa told reporters after his dramatic three-set match that lasted three hours and 20 minutes.

“Yeah, I have more confidence in me because I think that my level now, it's the right one where I'm staying with the ranking position. I think it's the right thing.”

Meanwhile, two-time Grand Slam winner Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic was among the early winners on Sunday.

Kvitova, the 12th seed, was too strong for Martina Trevisan, the unseeded Italian, in her 6-2, 6-1 win in the round of 64.

Meanwhile, Madison Keys also advanced to the second round with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 win over Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

The multiple award-winning Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has attracted nine of world's top 10 players, including world number one and three-time Grand Slam winner Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka who last month won her first Major at the Australian Open.

The men's week of the tournament will start on February 27 when world number one and 22-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic will begin his bid for his sixth title in Dubai.

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