The exit of Britain's Heather Watson in the first round at the Dubai Tennis Championships, may have hardly rocked the tennis establishment too strongly, yet the third round has been causing some major tremors among the top seeds. Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic and Agnieszka Radwanska all fell at that hurdle in the championship, removing the number two, four and five seeds at a signal stroke.

Wimbledon champion Kvitova once again failed to reach the later stages of a tour event, as she eventually succumbed to the dogged Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets.

Her hopes had been raised after claiming the second set against the number 13 seed, but she lost the deciding set 6-3 and with it the match.

Ivanovic was ranked fourth for this event and had looked in great form when destroying the German Sabine Lisicki in the previous round, but the Serbian was 'Czech'-mated by Karolina Pliskova in round three. Like Kvitova she pushed her opponent to the deciding third set, before finally losing to Pliskova 6-2 4-6 6-4.

The Polish player Radwanska make it a hat-trick of top seeds removed in the round, when she was surprisingly knocked out by the unseeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza Blanco. The fifth seed was never really in the match as she went down 6-4 6-2.

Venus Williams' recent upturn in fortunes did not continue in Dubai, as she also exited the event in the third round, losing in straight sets to the Czech number 11 seed Lucie Safarova. It has been a good few months for Safarova, as she paired up with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to take the women's doubles title at the Australian Open.

Top seed Simona Halep from Romania marched serenely on into the next round with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova.

Watson had hoped that her return to the WTA Tour would last a little longer than her previous appearance at the Australian Open, but again she crashed out in the first round. This time, her Dubai conqueror was world number 132, Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine, with a straight sets loss for the number 43 ranked player proving to be another major disappointment. She will need to get some practice in on her serve it seems after the latest defeat, as she was worryingly broken four times during the match.