Muguruza beats Swiatek in Dubai; Pegula upsets Pliskova

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Garbine Muguruza and Jessica Pegula continued their strong form in 2021 with wins in the third round of the Dubai Championships.

Muguruza beat Iga Swiatek 6-0, 6-4 as the French Open champion was slow to find any rhythm with six double faults and 17 unforced errors to Muguruza’s 10.

“I had to bring my 100% aggressive game,” Muguruza said.

Swiatek dropped a set 6-0 for the first time since 2019, when she had yet to win a tour title and was beaten by Sam Stosur in qualifying for the Eastbourne tournament.

Muguruza’s win sets up a quarterfinal against Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-2. Muguruza beat Sabalenka in three sets at the Qatar Open last week on her way to the final. That run meant Muguruza was playing for the eighth time in 10 days.

Australian Open quarterfinalist Pegula needed just 53 minutes to complete an upset 6-0, 6-2 win over Karolina Pliskova, her second win over the Czech in the space of a week after a quarterfinal victory in Qatar. The American goes on to face Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals after the Belgian eliminated Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-2.

There was another upset as Anastasia Potapova beat sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 despite the Russian posting 12 double faults along the way.

American teen Coco Gauff reached the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over qualifier Tereza Martincova.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

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PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”