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Muguruza beats Swiatek in Dubai; Pegula upsets Pliskova

Dubai Duty Free Tennis - Day Four

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MARCH 10: Garbine Muguruza of Spain returns a forehand in her match against Iga Swiatek of Poland during Day Four of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 10, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

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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.