Petra Kvitova made to work for win in Dubai

The 2013 Dubai winner was taken to three sets against her Czech compatriot. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
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Petra Kvitova made to work for win in Dubai

  • Former Wimbledon champion comes back from a set down in early start at the Aviation Club.

LONDON: Although she was made to work for her win Petra Kvitova admitted that her 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Katerina Siniakova provided her with a good workout as she goes in search of a second Dubai title.
The two-time Wimbledon champion endure a slow start and was broken twice early on as she lost the first set in a tie-break. But the 28-year-old is made of stern stuff and battle back to win the match in just over two and a half hours against her Czech compatriot.
For the Australian Open finalist the return to the court was an ideal warm-up for what she hopes will be a triumphant week.
“She started pretty well. I couldn’t hit return. She served like four first serves in. It was pretty difficult to return it. But then I was keeping my serve, which was very, very important today. Even I made some double-faults, my service games were okay.
“She really served pretty well until the 4-All, which I really thought that’s my game.
“It was tough to break her. I’m glad that I was able to hold my serve until the chances in the third. That was kind of my point to make it.” The 2013 Dubai winner will go up against either 14th seed Caroline Garcia or Jennifer Brady on Wednesday for a place in the quarterfinals.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).