Garcia comeback knocks out Kerber
Caroline Garcia produced a superb comeback to eliminate Angelique Kerber in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday.
France's Garcia lost the first set and found herself 1-4 down in the third before staging a fightback and claiming a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory.
Garcia began slowly as Kerber claimed successive breaks to start the match and the world No 47 continued to struggle on serve. Even after twice breaking Kerber, Garcia failed to hold serve in the first set.
The former world No 4 quickly regrouped in the second set, though, and after both players held serve twice each, Garcia broke in the fifth and seventh games before serving out the second set.
It was now Kerber's turn to respond and the German world No 26 did so by earning an early break in the decider and moving into a 4-1 lead. However, Garcia maintained her aggression and started to find more winners as she reeled off five games in a row to seal the win in one hour and 43 minutes.
Garcia will face lucky loser Martina Trevisan in the second round.
Kontaveit too strong for Babos
Anett Kontaveit delivered a dominant victory to dispatch Timea Babos 6-2, 6-1 in just 57 minutes to march into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday.
The 25-year-old Estonian was broken in the very first game of the match, but immediately bounced back to take complete control of the contest. She proceeded to win the next four games before claiming her third break to wrap up the set.
The second set started as a carbon copy of the first, with Kontaveit dropping serve and breaking straight back, but this time she didn't give Babos another game, winning six straight to claim the victory in less than an hour.
The 15th seed will take on Sorana Cirstea in the second round after the Romanian beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-4.
Rybakina powers past Zheng
Last year's finalist Elena Rybakina outclassed Saisai Zheng 6-0, 6-4 to cruise into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Rybakina, seeded 14th, was in scintillating form in 2020 when she reached the final, going down narrowly to Simona Halep in one of the most thrilling title matches in the tournament's history.
Back on Centre Court on Monday, the 21-year-old Kazakh proved too powerful for her Chinese opponent as her big serve and heavy groundstrokes allowed her to dominate the first set.
To Zheng's credit, she fought hard to stay with Rybakina and even after falling behind 1-3 in the second set, managed to earn a break before holding serve to level at 3-3.
After both players held serve for 4-4, Rybakina increased her aggression with Zheng serving to stay in the match and the Kazakh got the all-important break, and with it the match, when Zheng sent a shot long.
Despite the minor wobble, Rybakina delivered a largely comfortable victory without ever really moving out of second gear and she motored into the next round after 76 minutes.
Rybakina will next face Tunisian world No 31 Ons Jabeur, who booked her place in the second round on Sunday with her own routine victory.
Keys races into second round
Madison Keys needed just 64 minutes to race past qualifier Liang En-shuo 6-1, 6-1 and book her place in the second round.
The American 11th seed laid the foundations for her emphatic win by claiming a 3-0 lead in the first set before breaking again in the sixth game and holding serve to seal the opener.
Keys did need to fend off a couple of break points at the start of the second set but after doing so, she won six straight games to claim the win in just over an hour.
The 2017 US Open finalist will face Anastasia Potapova in the second round after the Russian world No 88 defeated Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-2.
Order of play
Centre Court - from 12pm
Elena Rybakina (14) bt Saisai Zheng 6-0, 6-4
Anett Kontaveit (15) bt Timea Babos 6-2, 6-1
Caroline Garcia bt Angelique Kerber 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
Irina-Camelia Begu v Garbine Muguruza (9)
Fiona Ferro v Elise Mertens (10)
Court 1 - from 12pm
Madison Keys (11) bt Liang En-shuo 6-1, 6-1
Jessica Pegula bt Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-1
Kristina Mladenovic bt Petra Martic (13) 7-6, 6-4
Jelena Ostapenko bt Patricia Maria Tig 6-3, 6-3
Amanda Anisimova bt Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-2
Court 2 - from 12pm
Anastasia Potapova bt Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-2
Misaki Doi bt Polona Hercog 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Court 3 - from 12pm
Marketa Vondrousova (12) bt Ana Bogdan 6-4, 6-4
Sorana Cîrstea bt Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-4
Tereza Martincova bt Kristyna Pliskova 7-6, 6-7, 6-3
Jil Teichmann bt Katarina Zavatska 6-1, 6-2
Shelby Rogers v Kaia Kanepi