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Sensational! Yulia Putintseva plays tough in absurd Abu Dhabi rally

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Yulia Putintseva loses to sixth seed Beatrice Haddad Maya in second round at Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open 6-4, 6- 7(5), 7-6(4) lost) 3 hours and 13 minutes later.

But the Kazakh left the fans in disbelief after completing two ridiculous defensive escapes deep in the third set. Putintseva ran every inch on and off the pitch, proving that Haddad Maia couldn’t break through – and had the composure to end both ridiculous rallies with winner’s flourishes.

Despite serving twice in the second set, Haddad Maya was unable to send Putintseva away. Putintseva saved three match points in Game 1 as she tied at 5-5 in eight innings. The world No. 45 trailed 5-3 in the second-set tie-break and 3-0 in the third.

However, just as she finally took the lead, two misjudgments cost her. Serving at 5-4 and 30-15, Putintseva blocked Haddad Maia’s shot but it actually fell to the baseline. Trailing 5-4 in the ensuing tie-break, she was penalized for foul language, giving Haddad Maia a fourth match point. The Brazilian officially translated that into the second-longest Tour-level win so far in the 2023 season.

PHOTOS: All three-hour races this year

Haddad Maia completes perfect seed day in Abu Dhabi, joins No.1 Daria Kasatkina, No.3 Elena Rybakina and No.8 Liudmila Samsonova in victory. She will face world No. 4 Kudermetova in the quarterfinals.

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