Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina is on her way to become the third woman to win back-to-back WTA Dubai Duty Tennis Championships. The No 1 seed defeated Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3 on Centre Court in a convincing fashion. Svitolina won the first set that consisted of six breaks of serve. Early in the second set, she was a break down but bounced back to take the win. On Saturday, she will clash with Daria Kasatkina, who stunned Garbine Muguruza in the other semi-final. If she wins in Dubai, she will join the ranks of Justine Henin and Venus Williams as the other players to have won successive Dubai titles in the event’s history.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the draw, 20-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina came back from a set down to save three match points. Finally, she dispatched hot favourite and former world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 7-6, 6-1. With this victory, she entered her third career WTA final. Kasatkina stayed calm even though she dropped the first set. In the second set, she was a break down but managed to battle her way through for a memorable win.
Kasatkina is chasing a record of her own as well, she is hoping to be the second Russian to win in Dubai. The first was Elena Dementieva and Kasatkina hopes to emulate her. Last year, she lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the first round. Regardless of the result, Kasatkina is guaranteed to move up the rankings. If she wins, she will break into the top 20, but if she loses, she will move to a career-high No. 22 ranking on Monday.
She said, “Things are pretty intense out there and the best thing to do is just don’t think about anything but enjoy playing each and every shot. Now it’s the final and I will just come out here and give it everything I’ve got.
Initially Muguruza dominated the game and got the break to go 4-2 ahead. The 24-year old went on to take the set in 37 minutes. However, Kasatkina was just warming up and the second set was a total turnaround. The Russian broke her illustrious opponent and drew level 4-4. In the final set, Kasatkina saved three match points to finally win it 13-11 in 86 long minutes.