DUBAI, February 20: Former titleholders Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep battled through brisk desert winds to advance into the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships on Wednesday.
Second seed Kvitova, now the highest ranked player remaining in the field after the surprise elimination of Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, outlasted American qualifier Jennifer Brady 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
Crowd favourite and third seed Halep, supported even in the middle of a workday by scores of chanting, enthusiastic local Romanian fans, beat Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine 6-3, 7-5, breaking seven times from 10 chances.
The challenger managed just a single point over the last three games as former number one Halep demonstrated her superiority by winning her seventh in the series without a loss. (AFP)