DUBAI: Ekaterina Makarova followed up on her January upset of Dominika Cibulkova with another defeat for the Slovak in a rain-delayed second-round match at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday.
The Russian who knocked Cibulkova out in the Melbourne third round used lessons learned in Australia to repeat the feat against the third seed, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
"It was a tough match again against Domi. Like always, we have three sets," the winner said. "I started really good with aggressive tennis.
"In the second set, maybe I started to think that I'm playing so good or she's missing too much. I knew that she is a fighter and she will never give up, and she will fight and run and hit.
"Beating her at the Open helped a lot, I was believing more and I knew what to do, how to play, where to go, yeah, I was believing that I can beat her."
The morning start had been delayed two hours due to light rain amid cooler temperatures than normal.
Cibulkova, seeded third behind Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova, held a 3-1 edge over Makarova in their career series before the match.
The Slovak was playing the event for the sixth time but had never passed the third round.
Ninth seed Elena Vesnina doubled up the day's Russian victory count, beating Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 7-5 while Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig accounted for French 15th seed Caroline Garcia 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.