Tomljanovic loses to returning Sabalenka
Ajla Tomljanovic has been beaten in the round of 16 at the WTA Tour's Kremlin Cup by world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka.
Tomljanovic pushed the Belarusian hard to split the first two sets before Sabalenka stormed home to win 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-1.
The Australian No.2 held her own for much of the match but Sabalenka - in her first match since reaching the US Open semi-finals and subsequently testing positive for COVID-19 - found her groove in the deciding set.
"She's a tough opponent for the first match after a long time out," tournament top seed Sabalenka said.
"I calmed down a bit and started playing well."
Sabalenka, who had a bye in the first round in Moscow, served 10 aces but also made 30 unforced errors against Tomljanovic.
In the quarter-finals Sabalenka will play Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat Anhelina Kalinina 6-4 6-1.
Second-seeded Garbine Muguruza also reached the last eight, beating Tereza Martincova 6-4 4-6 6-3, with her next opponent to be Anett Kontaveit or Andrea Petkovic.
Fourth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia eased past Bernarda Pera 6-2 7-5 to reach the quarters.
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