In her opening match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 7th seed Elina defeated a qualifier Zheng Saisai 7-5 6-1.
Elina was leading 4-0 but failed to serve out the set at 5-2 and 5-4. She was able to take two games in a row at 5-all and clinch the set. Her opponent won just one game in the second set and the match ended after just over an hour from the start.

- I tried to stay focus and just send as many balls through the the net as I could, - Elina said during her on-court interview. - In the second set I played solid. Overall it was an entertaining match. My next opponent Christina McHale is a good player, I should to play at my 100%. Am I going to a players party? Well, I don't know maybe (laughs).

Elina will face World No. 44 Christina McHale for the spot in the quarterfinals. The pair have met on the court three times: the American was stronger at Fed Cup in 2012 and US Open in 2013, but Elina won their last meeting in Marrakech two years ago.
photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images Europe