The first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships saw Peng Shuai stroll to a comfortable victory against Lesia Tsurenko after just 57 minutes of play, despite the Ukrainian being higher-ranked of both. This one-sided win for Peng definitely came very unexpectedly, losing just two games in the process.
Peng strolls to winning the first set
The higher-ranked Ukrainian had a very nervy start to the match as Peng came out firing from the first point, getting down to the job as soon as the match started. Peng’s early aggressiveness showed when she earned a break point just six points into the match, looking to secure a great start. Nevertheless, Tsurenko managed to maintain her composure to save the break point and hold narrowly onto her opening service game. Peng then looked inconsistent in her opening service game as she fell 15-30 down before winning three straight points to remain level on the scoreboard.
This was when the rout started as Peng made the first breakthrough at 1-1, breaking serve for the early advantage. Once again, falling 15-30 down in her service game, Peng barely made it as she made a small escape once again, with her powerful style of tennis saving her from the brink of losing her lead.
This service hold allowed the Chinese to consolidate the break of service, affirming her lead at 3-1. Peng’s impressive run continued as she broke serve once more in the fifth game, opening up a 4-1 lead. This time, Peng consolidated the service break with a hold to love, her first comfortable service hold of the day. With the momentum running in her, Peng eventually closed out the first set 6-1 after just 26 minutes.
Tsurenko fails to make breakthrough
After the first set victory, Peng seemed to lose her focus a little as Tsurenko tried to make an immediate fightback just in the opening game of the second set, earning a break point opportunity straight in the first game. Looking to convert her first break point of the match, Tsurenko wasted the golden chance as Peng held her nerves to hold serve eventually. The missed opportunity seemed to have taken a hit at Tsurenko’s confidence as her serve was broken just right in the next game, with the win slowly fading away in her sights.
For the third time in the match, Peng held her serve from 15-30 down to hold her service, holding onto her service game and extending her lead to two games. Tsurenko looked out of sorts as she was broken to love, allowing Peng to have a 4-0 lead in the second set, with a comeback looking improbable. The Ukrainian finally got herself onto the scoreboard in the second set as she had a spirited hold of service, not looking to give up easily and made Peng work hard for the win. It proved to be just a consolation game as Peng strolled to the victory after successfully serving out the match in comfortable fashion after just 57 minutes of play, with Peng putting up a clinical display to triumph.
Peng progresses to the second round
The Chinese would now face Barbora Strycova in the second round, their first meeting in their respective careers. It would definitely be a tight match and would be played on the third day of action.