Molik's run stops at Dubai Open - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Molik's run stops at Dubai Open

02/03/2005 05:21:09 AM Comments (0)

Alicia Molik's recent strong performances have ended at the rich Dubai Open.

The sixth-seeded Australian, the Qatar Open runner-up last weekend, was a first-round loser to Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 7-6 (10-8) 6-2.

Also upset was US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, eliminated by Indian wild card Sania Mirza 6-4 6-2.

Mirza, ranked 90 spots behind Kuznetsova at 97th, became the first Indian woman ever to win a WTA Tour title last month.

Hantuchova rallied from 2-5 down in the first set to upset Molik and set up a second-round match against Elena Likhovtseva of Russia, who needed nine match points to subdue Selima Sfar of Tunisia 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

"It was such a tough first-round match and I am glad to come through," said Hantuchova.

"She was serving so well. I just decided to hang in there and keep fighting. I gradually gained good rhythm on my returns and began reading her serves. I tried to go for my shots and be aggressive, and thankfully it all came through for me."

Sfar, who became the first Arab woman to reach a WTA Tour quarterfinals at this tournament in her 2001 debut, broke Likhovtseva three times to win the first set, but lost her serve twice in the second.

Likhovtseva led 5-3 in the third but Sfar broke to love in the ninth game and forced the tiebreaker, which the Russian edged 7-5.

Also, seventh-seeded Nathalie Dechy of France beat Vera Douchevina of Russia 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) and qualifier Na Li of China upset Ai Sugiyama of Japan 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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