Tough test looms for Stosur in Dubai
Sam Stosur will take on one of the WTA's rising stars next up in Dubai while Nick Kyrgios opens his Marseille title defence against Malek Jaziri.
Sam Stosur may be in for a tough second round showdown in Dubai, as she’s set to play red-hot Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh.
The 19-year-old world No.36 annihilated Chinese world No.30 Shuai Zhang 6-0 6-1 in 49 minutes in her tournament opener and has looked good in 2017.
She made the final in Auckland before losing in three sets to Daria Gavrilova in the second round of the Australian Open.
Konjuh’s only loss since came at the hands of world No.4 Simona Halep in the second round of the St Petersburg Open, and she has climbed 12 rankings spots since the start of the year.
Stosur had one day earlier booked her place in the second round with a 6-3 6-3 win over Chinese qualifier Kai-Lin Zhang.
The pair have never before played each other.
Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios will begin his title defence at the Open 13 in Marseille with a second round match against Tunisian Malek Jaziri.
Jaziri advanced to the second round with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov and the 33-year-old should provide a welcome sight for Kyrgios as he begins to defend his first ever ATP title.
The 21-year-old Australian holds a 2-0 record over Jaziri, having beaten him in 2013 US Open qualifying and at the 2015 Australian Open.
Kyrgios looked to be in good touch in his first round doubles match at the tournament as he and fellow Australian Matt Reid dispatched third-seeded pair Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-4 6-4.
Kyrgios won his maiden singles title at last year’s event when he defeated Maric Cilic 6-2 7-6(3) in the final.
Seeded third in this year’s event, Kyrgios is drawn to meet German rising star and recent Montpellier champion Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals.