World 292 Gasanova stuns ex-number one Pliskova in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi (AFP) –


Russian qualifier and world number 292 Anastasia Gasanova sent former top-ranked Karolina Pliskova crashing out of the season-opening Abu Dhabi WTA event on Saturday in a straight sets triumph.

The 21-year-old Gasanova won 6-2, 6-4 to reach the round of 16 and record her first ever victory over a player in the top 100.

Gasanova, making her main draw debut, needed just 73 minutes to see off the third seed.

"I'm really surprised, but when I woke up today, I thought, 'Why not? Why can't I win this match?'," said Gasanova.

"Actually, I had thought I would lose in qualies or something like that, but I just kept pushing myself, like, I need to win and I want to win."

Gasanova goes on to face Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo for a place in the quarter-finals.

Ukrainian second seed Elina Svitolina eased past Russian veteran and two-time Grand Slam runner-up Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-1.

Greece's Maria Sakkari, seeded nine, defeated US teenager Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-2.