Ons Jabeur and Bernarda Pera make winning start in Abu Dhabi
Jabeur beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 33 minutes. It was the second victory for the Tunisian over the Russian from as many matches, serving at only 52% but drawing the most from the initial shot to fend off seven out of nine break chances. Struggling to find the second serve's pace, Pavlyuchenkova gave serve away thrice from 13 opportunities offered to Jabeur and hit the exit door after the first obstacle.
The opening set lasted for almost an hour, and Pavlyuchenkova saved eight out of nine break chances to remain in touch, surviving challenging game nine and creating two set points on the return in the next one. Jabeur remained calm and saved those, gathered momentum and took the tie break 7-3. The Tunisian opened a 5-1 lead in set number two and sealed the deal at 5-3 to advance into the second round. In a marathon clash, Bernarda Pera defeated Donna Vekic 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 in over three hours!
The opening set lasted for almost 90 minutes, and Pera won the tie break 12-10 after fending off three set points. Vekic bounced back after taking six consecutive games in set number two and moved 3-0 in front in the decider. Starting all over, Bernarda rattled off six of the next seven games to perform a great escape and advance into the next round.
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