GAUFF CREDITS UMPIRE INCIDENT FOR COMEBACK WIN OVER PLISKOVA

Coco Gauff credited an altercation with the umpire in aiding her 2-6 6-4 6-3 comeback victory over Karolina Pliskova that booked her a quarter-final spot in Dubai.

Gauff was broken three times in losing the first set to Pliskova, the former world No 1 in red-hot form riding an 11-match winning streak into the contest.

Then, when serving up 4-2 in the second set, at deuce, Gauff took issue with a call by French umpire Pierre Bacchi that saw her have to re-take her first serve instead of being awarded the point.

Gauff successfully challenged the call that her first serve was out, but Bacchi gave Pliskova the benefit of the doubt that her attempted return was hindered by the incorrect ruling, calling for the point to be replayed - much to Gauff's frustration.

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"It definitely gave me some adrenaline," Gauff said after the match. "Luckily I was able to overcome that pretty quickly. I'm glad I was able to reset."

She added: "I think it just fuelled me. I want to watch back the video... It's just one point. It happens in tennis. Players make mistakes; everybody makes mistakes. It kind of went upward from there for me.

"I was trying to tell myself to stay calm the next point. Sometimes I get angry and I go for too much. I was trying to let that not be the turning point for the set.

"Maybe I dragged it out a little longer than I needed to, but I did what I felt was best in that moment."

Gauff eventually won the replayed point and held serve in that game for 5-2. And though she failed to serve out the set at 5-3, she broke Pliskova in the 10th game to send the match the distance.

The final set went with serve until Gauff earned the decisive break in the eighth game on her way to clinching victory and booking her third quarter-final of 2024.

The 19-year-old American will meet Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya in the last eight after she upset ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 7-5 on Wednesday.

Elena Rybakina, the tournament's fourth seed, came from 5-3 down in the first set to defeat Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-4, earning her 17th win of the season already.

The in-form Kazakhstani won the tournament in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago and lost to world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the final in Doha last week.

Next up for Rybakina is Italy's Jasmine Paolini, who upset eighth seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-4 6-2.

Also on Wednesday, top seed Swiatek recorded a 6-1 6-4 victory over Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. She will play China's Qinwen Zheng in the next round after this year's Australian Open runner-up breezed past Anastasia Potapova 6-3 6-2.

Completing the quarter-final lineup, Marketa Vondrousova defeated Liudmila Samsonova 6-2 6-2 to set up a meeting with Sorana Cirstea after she rallied from behind to beat Donna Vekic 3-6 6-3 7-5.

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2024-02-21T19:18:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd