Tennis Tracker: Vekic stuns Sabalenka in Dubai, Murray wins first match since October

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Tennis Tracker: Vekic stuns Sabalenka in Dubai, Murray wins first match since October

Andy Murray in Doha action
Andy Murray in Doha action AFP, Flashscore
The second WTA 1000 of the year really kicks into gear today, with Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina all in action on a very busy day in Dubai. Meanwhile, there are also some big names in Doha and Rio, as Carlos Alcaraz looks to bounce back from his Buenos Aires disappointment in Brazil.

23:31 CET - The man of the moment and winner of the ATP tournament in Buenos Aires last week Facundo Diaz Acosta (23), takes on former US Open champion Stan Wawrinka (38) in Rio. It is the highlight encounter in this evening session after a lengthy rain delay. 

There is also overnight action in Mexico which we will update you on tomorrow morning. That is it for tonight, come back tomorrow for more from the frantic world of tennis.

20:32 CET - Fan favourite Gael Monfils (37) has progressed in the final match of the day in Doha in a straight-sets victory over Botic Van De Zandschulp (28), winning 6-1 7-6 (11-9).

20:11 CET - The final match of the day in Dubai has seen Australian Open finalist Coco Gauff (19) win 6-1, 7-5 against Elisabetta Cocciaretto (23) as she cruised into the next round.

18:48 CET - Elsewhere in Dubai, Karolina Pliskova (31), in red-hot form after winning in Romania before making the semi-finals in Qatar, has beaten Ashlyn Krueger (19) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4.

18:41 CET - Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka (25) may have been knocked out in Dubai earlier today but world number one Iga Swiatek had no such issue this evening. She has come out on top against Sloane Stephens (30) 6-4, 6-4 to progress with ease. 

18:27 CET - It has been a hard few months for former Wimbledon and US Open champion Andy Murray. Critics have gone as far as to question why is he still bothering? Heavy defeat after heavy defeat and questions are always going to be asked when you are 36 and look like a shadow of your former self.

However, Murray hit back at the press with the same force he might have hit a forehand winner in the past. And this evening in Doha he went some way towards silencing those critics, winning 6-1 7-6 (7-5) against France's Alexandre Muller (27)

17:02 CET - Karolina Muchova (27) has been out of action for months after she began to suffer wrist issues at the US Open. The Czech star has finally decided to solve the problem with surgery, after receiving advice from a team of medical specialists in order to ensure a full recovery and a return to professional tennis. As a result, she is set to be out for a few more months.

16:14 CET - Back to Dubai, where sixth seed and Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng (21) has won her first match of the week, beating Japan's Nao Hibino (29) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Richard Gasquet (37) won his first ATP World Tour match of the year, by beating Alexander Shevchenkov (23) in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

14:44 CET - Over in Doha, two top 10 seeds have fallen in the round of 32 with fifth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (24) falling 7-6, 6-4 to Czech Republic's Jakub Mensik (18), whilst sixth seed Jan-Lennard Struff (33) has lost in straight sets to Christopher O'Connell (29) 6-4, 6-4.

13:53 CET - Elena Rybakina (24) is through in Dubai after Victoria Azarenka (34) unfortunately had to retire injured with the score level at 4-6, 6-2. In other matches, Elina Svitolina (29) and Jelena Ostapenko (26) both cruised through in straight sets.

 12:10 CET - There has been a huge upset in Dubai. Aryna Sabalenka (25) has been dumped out in her first match back after winning the Australian Open, losing to an inspired Donna Vekic (27) 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0. The Croatian was utterly irresistible in the final set, hammering Sabalenka off the court with some stunning groundstrokes. Not the return the Belarusian would have wanted.

10:19 CET - Marketa Vondrousova (24) was made to work, but in the end, the Wimbledon champion battled to a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 win over Peyton Stearns (22). Petra Martic (33) didn't survive though (26), falling 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 to Magdalena Frech (26).

09:59 CET - The first two results of the day are in from Dubai. Maria Sakkari (28) had little issue against Emma Navarro (22), securing a 6-2, 6-4 win in one hour and 18 minutes. Leylah Fernandez (21), however, suffered a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to Jasmine Paolini.

08:35 CET - Meanwhile overnight, several Brits took to the court. Cameron Norrie (28) eased past Hugo Dellien (30) 6-3, 6-2 in Rio, while Dan Evans (33) also cruised through after beating Roman Safiullin (26) 6-2, 6-4 in Mexico.

However, Jack Draper (22) suffered a defeat in Los Cabos, squandering a set and a break lead to fall to Thanasi Kokkinanki (27) 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4

08:16 CET - Good morning and welcome back to another Tennis Tracker. Matches are already underway in Dubai, with Marketa Vondrousova (24), Maria Sakkari (28), Leylah Fernandez (21) and Petra Martic (33) currently on court. You can follow all the action right here.

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