Early exits for Muguruza, Pliskova at season-opening Abu Dhabi event

Former world No. 1s Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova were both knocked out of the season-opening Abu Dhabi WTA event over the weekend.

Yesterday, fifth seed Muguruza lost 7-5, 6-4 to ninth seed Maria Sakkari, who booked a quarter-final meeting with Sofia Kenin, the top seed advancing with a 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 win over Yulia Putintseva (13th seed).

Third seed Pliskova was sent packing by Russian qualifier and world No. 292 Anastasia Gasanova, who won 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday to record her first victory over a player in the top 100.

But Gasanova, 21, could not keep her momentum going and lost 7-5, 6-3 to Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo in the Round of 16 last night.

Also advancing was second seed Elina Svitolina, who had to dig deep to beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6( 10/8).