Svitolina Sweeps Second Straight Dubai Crown

by Steven Clarke February 25, 2018, 1:47
Svitolina Sweeps Second Straight Dubai Crown

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina won Dubai Open championship on February 24, defeating Russian rival Daria Kasatkina. "I felt she's back into the game", Svitolina said of Kerber, who's made her return to the Top 10 this year. Svitolina cruised through the second set and sealed her 11th title in 13 finals with her 18th victor, an appropriate inside-out forehand.

The exertions of the week seemed to catch up with Kasatkina all at once as her error count went through the roof, while Svitolina punished her with regular cross-court chasing to sail through a ruthless second set, capped with an in-to-out forehand victor, a weapon Kasatkina had no answer to throughout the contest.

That came after Kasatkina denied two match points in the second-set tie break of her 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over seventh-seeded Johanna Konta in a three-hour thriller on Wednesday night. "I was just trying to hit the ball into the court, just trying to make a rally, in the end I was very happy the way I handled the pressure throughout the week".

"I thought it was long, I was lucky", Kasatkina said in her post-match interview. At the beginning of the year, she won the tournament in Brisbane.

In the second set the unseeded Kasatkina saved three Muguruza match points before coming good on her fourth set point.

Final Countdown: Dubai
Elina Svitolina proud to join greats Justine Henin and Venus Williams as only back-to-back winners in Dubai

The wear and tear from fighting through nine hours and five minutes on court to reach her third final took a physical toll on Kasatkina, whose unforced error output piled up. "There was couple of points that I was really happy the way I handle it". She is the second player this year to achieve that feat following Simona Halep at the Australian Open. I feel I really struggled physically because I've been playing so many matches in a row.

When asked how she had managed to win the match, she replied, "Who knows".

While Muguruza admitted to being weary at the end of the match, Kasatkina revealed that she was exhausted before the match even began. When you're going on court, adrenaline is coming, and you just can forget about it. "I think that's what helped her today". I enjoyed playing here so much and thanks to the fans for supporting me. "I think we do well as a pair". Svitolina also has a 2-0 record in finals as the No.1 seed - though today marks the first time she has reached the final as a tournament's top seed above global level.

"I have no idea (how I saved match points) actually", said Kasatkina after the victory.


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