Anett Kontaveit is through to the quarter finals of the WTA Dubai tennis tournament after overcoming Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Ukraine in two, closely-fought sets, 7:6 (5), 7:5. Kontaveit rescued the second set from the brink of defeat to go on to win.
The Ukrainian broke Kontaveit's serve in the opening game, but the Estonian returned the favor in the very next game, ERR's sports portal reports, a pattern which followed two more times in the first set. The first set went to a tie-break at six-all, with Kontaveit reaching the required seven points to Pavlyuchenkova's five.
The second set was even closer, though Pavlyuchenkova, ranked 31st in the world, pulled ahead at 5:3 in the eighth game. The Estonian faced two set points in the next game but rescued them both, going on to power ahead by taking the next four games in a row and thus the set and match.
"It was a very tough and balanced game. I tried to fight every point and I am very happy that I was able to win," Kontaveit, 24, from Tallinn, said after the match.
"I've been working hard on my game and now I'm starting to see the fruits of it. I feel really good and enjoy playing," she added.
The encounter was the sixth time the pair had met; Pavlyuchenkova won the previous encounter in Adelaide in January.
Kontaveit, ranked 24th in the world, faces world number eight Petra Martic (Croatia) in the next round.
Martic won her second round fixture in straight sets, 6:3, 6:3, against Czech player Barbora Strycova.
Kontaveit and Martic have never met professionally before.
"I don't remember ever playing her, but it will definitely be another tough game," Kontaveit said of the upcoming fixture at the Aviation Club Tennis Center, which is scheduled to start at around 5 p.m. Estonian time on Thursday.
Editor: Andrew Whyte