Elina Svitolina wins Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title

Yolanda Curtis
February 25, 2018

Top seed Elina Svitolina became just the third woman to defend the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title thanks to a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Russia's Daria Kasatkina. It was solid performance, I would say.

Perhaps, the result could have been a surprise to some, due to the fact that Svitolina was not playing her best tennis throughout the week while Kerber was simply firing on all cylinders.

Speaking on court afterwards, she said: "Coming into this week, I didn't really have any expectations". I did good at important moments. At the third set I really notice it because my legs were starting to get very fatigue. "My legs are like bubbles", complained Kasatkina, who was feeling the effects of the 9+ hours she spent on court en route to the final. "I was just trying to do whatever I could". I won four unbelievable matches.

While Muguruza admitted to being weary at the end of the match, Kasatkina revealed that she was exhausted before the match even began. "You don't think, you just enjoy". You start to run, blood start to run into your body, that's it. "The exhausted is somewhere, going somewhere, yeah".

Svitolina has now beaten Kerber five straight times including in the same Dubai semifinals a year ago. It was tough battle in the first set.

"I am very pleased with the performance throughout the week", said Svitolina.

Kasatkina resisted to long baseline rallies as the No.1 seed gradually reduced the court her opponent needed to cover to gave the best glimpses of her counterattacking tennis. But Chan has also enjoyed considerable success with 13 titles and a runner-up finish at Wimbledon a year ago, and her more aggressive play with Yang gave them the edge.

Kasatkina, ranked 24th, ran out of puff during the title bid as she tried to add a trophy that claimed previous year in Charleston, the first of her career.

However, a slight misfocus saw Kerber easily giving her serve away before Svitolina grabbed the ideal opportunity to regain the rhythm. But especially in my serve, I couldn't find it. Yeah, I think that was the key.

The doubles final will be between the fourth seeded team of Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng, who defeated top seeds and defending champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-1 3-6 10-7, and the unseeded pairing of Hao-Ching Chan and Zhaoxuan Yang who beat Alicja Rosolska and Abigail Spears 6-4 7-5.

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