There have been shocks and surprises in the $2 million Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships being played this week. Top seed Serena Williams recovered well after being taken to a first set 10-8 tie breaker before racing away with the second set to love in her first match, against Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday. Also, unseeded Ana Ivanovic took out 6th seeded Angelique Kerber, Alize Cornet defeated last week’s winner In Qatar, Simona Halep, the 7th seed and Annika Beck, the German qualifier, beat Sam Stosur.
The first casualty on Wednesday was new world number 3 and the 2nd seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, who lost to the 22nd ranked qualifier, Flavia Pannetta, who is steadily rising again in the WTA rankings after a long injury lay off. The Italian got the better of the Pole in an hour and twenty minutes, winning 6-4 6-2 to make it to the third round. Wildcard Venus Williams totally outplayed Ana Ivanovic, taking the match 6-2 6-1 in just 56 minutes. Yet another seed to fall was number 4, Sara Errani, who lost to Sorana Cirstea in three sets with the Romanian winning 6-2 5-7 6-1. The final match of the day saw 3rd seed Petra Kvitova fall to Carla Suarez Navarro, also in three sets. The Spaniard won 1-6 6-4 7-6 (6-4) in just over two and a quarter hours.