Elina Svitolina vs Caroline Wozniacki, Dubai Final Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Final Preview:
🇺🇦 (7) Elina Svitolina vs 🇩🇰 (10) Caroline Wozniacki

Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final promises to be an intriguing contest when Elina Svitolina comes up against Caroline Wozniacki. Svitolina and Wozniacki are just about as evenly matched as it gets, the pair play very similarly, having the same strengths and weaknesses, meaning every single point will be hard-fought in this match-up. Svitolina and Wozniacki are both in great form entering this final, Svitolina is on an 11 match winning streak after winning her first title of the year in Taipei City whilst Wozniacki has won 9 of her last 10 matches after reaching the final in Doha last week.

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Angelique Kerber vs Elina Svitolina, Dubai SF Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview:
(1) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs (7) 🇺🇦 Elina Svitolina

Angelique Kerber and Elina Svitolina will renew hostilities on Friday when they collide in the second semi-final of the day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. There is a lot at stake, firstly this is a premier 5 semi-final, secondly Kerber is two wins away from reclaiming the number 1 ranking and thirdly Elina Svitolina is just two wins away from reaching the top 10 for the first time in her career. Svitolina has won the last two matches between the pair, Kerber will head into this match desperate for revenge, this should be a good one between two very evenly matches opponents.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs Anastasija Sevastova, Dubai SF Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview:
(10) 🇩🇰 Caroline Wozniacki vs 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova

Caroline Wozniacki is through to a sixth consecutive semi-final in Dubai. The 2011 champion has lost four consecutive semi-finals in Dubai but will be a strong favourite to reverse that trend when she comes up against Anastasija Sevastova in Friday’s first semi-final, a rematch of the 2016 U.S Open quarter-final. Wozniacki has played a huge amount of tennis in the last couple of weeks having reached the Doha final last week, Wozniacki has completed nine matches in nine days! Perhaps Sevastova will have a chance to claim her first win over Wozniacki given the Dane’s heavy recent schedule.

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Angelique Kerber vs Ana Konjuh, Dubai QF Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, QF Preview:
(1) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs 🇭🇷 Ana Konjuh

Thursday’s fourth and final quarter-final of the day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships promises to be the most intriguing clash of the day when world number 2 Angelique Kerber faces the rapidly improving Ana Konjuh. Kerber has finally found some decent form in Dubai and has huge motivation to win the title this week as she will return to the number 1 ranking if she can go all the way in Dubai. Kerber will face a tough test on Thursday night against the extremely talented Ana Konjuh, an opponent whose best tennis is good enough to beat anyone. Kerber will be wary heading into this one.

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Agnieszka Radwanska vs Catherine Bellis, Dubai R3 Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R3 Preview:
🇵🇱 (4) Agnieszka Radwanska vs 🇺🇸 Catherine Bellis

2012 Dubai Duty Free Champion Agnieszka Radwanska will continue her 2017 Dubai campaign on Wednesday evening when she comes up against young American Catherine Bellis at the third round stage. Radwanska is a clear favourite heading into this match, arguably the biggest challenge for Bellis in her young career. Radwanska hasn’t made an ideal start to 2017, a deep run in Dubai and challenging for the title would be highly beneficial as the Pole looks to climb back into the top 5.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Ekaterina Makarova, Dubai R2 Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview:
🇸🇰 (3) Dominika Cibulkova vs 🇷🇺 Ekaterina Makarova

Tuesday’s match of the day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sees the third seeded Dominika Cibulkova open her tournament against the always-dangerous Ekaterina Makarova. Dominika Cibulkova will head into this match desperate for revenge after she was beaten by Makarova in an agonizingly close three set match at the third round stage of the Australian Open earlier this year. Cibulkova was extremely disappointed after that match, feeling like she should have won it and she will carry those emotions into Tuesday’s clash with the Russian.

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Angelique Kerber vs Mona Barthel, Dubai R2 Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview:
🇩🇪 (1) Angelique Kerber vs 🇩🇪 (wc) Mona Barthel

Angelique Kerber will look to get her season back on track in Dubai after another disappointing early round exit in Doha last week. Kerber started the season as the world number 1 with the tennis world watching to see how she will handle the new pressures and expectations placed on her this season. Unfortunately, the answer has been that she has been unable to deal with it, amassing a modest 4-4 win/loss record to start 2017. Kerber should be desperate to avoid an upset loss to compatriot Mona Barthel in second round action on Tuesday in Dubai. Kerber could regain her number 1 ranking if she was to win the tournament this week.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai R1 Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R1 Preview:
🇩🇰 (10) Caroline Wozniacki vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina

An exciting opening round clash in Dubai features last week’s Doha finalist Caroline Wozniacki up against the rising Daria Kasatkina, the first career meeting between the pair. Wozniacki will arrive in Dubai with winning form on her side after reaching the Doha final but will only have a few days to adjust to the conditions. Kasatkina also had a good week in Doha, defeating the top seeded Angelique Kerber on route to the final 8. This should be a great match between two in form players, expect to see a lot of long rallies in this one! 

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Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova Preview, Dubai DFTC Final

Final: (1) Simona Halep vs (17) Karolina Pliskova

A first time champion will be crowned on Saturday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. First time finalists in Dubai, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova will go head to head for the first time in their careers in what promises to be a highly competitive match between two in form young ladies.

Simona Halep has improved match by match this week in Dubai. The top seed eased through her opening two matches, thumping a fatigued Daniela Hantuchova 6-2 6-0 before strolling past Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-3. The Romanian was forced to work much harder for her next two victories, fighting past Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 1-6 7-5 in a highly competitive quarter-final before coming from a set down to defeat Caroline Wozniacki.

Simona Halep advanced to her second final of the year with a relatively comfortable 2-6 6-1 6-1 victory over a wayward Caroline Wozniacki in friday’s second semifinal. Simona made a poor start to the match, hitting 16 unforced unforced errors in an untidy opening set. The Romanian finally found her range in the second set as Wozniacki’s level dramatically deteriorated. Simona running away with the match as the Dane finished the match with an uncharacteristically high 26 unforced errors to just 11 winners.

 

Simona will need to play much better tennis if she is defeat an in form Karolina Pliskova on Saturday. The top seed didn’t serve particularly well in her victory over Wozniacki, broken several times and hitting only 2 aces. A similar serving performances against Karolina will leave her in enormous trouble.

Karolina Pliskova has had an outstanding week in Dubai, reaching a career high ranking of world number 12. Pliskova has continually defied the odds, causing three upsets in a row to reach her second premier level final of the year.

Karolina cruised through her opening two matches this week, recording straight set victories over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. The hard hitting Czech then battled past both Ana Ivanovic and Lucie Safarova in tight three set encounters.

Karolina’s best victory of the week came in the semifinals where she recorded an extremely hard fought 6-4 5-7 7-5 victory over fellow young gun, Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard seemed to be in control of the match in the third set, creating several chances to break Karolina’s serve. However as has so often been the case this week, Karolina saved some of her best tennis for when she was break point down, saving all five break points she was faced with.

Serving for the match at 6-5 in the final set, Karolina found herself down 0-40. The ever cool Czech didn’t panic, calmly saving three break points before going on to serve out the match.

 

This will be the first ever encounter between Simona and Karolina, the first of many. The contrast in styles should lead to fascinating final between two of the tours most in form players.

Karolina’s form this week has been the more impressive, Karolina has defeated five quality opponents, the bigger the challenge, the better she has played. Simona has done what she has had to do, the Romanians biggest challenge of the week came in the quarter-finals against Makarova, apart from that Simona has been relatively untroubled.

The biggest question mark leading into this match is, how much energy does Karolina have left? It’s been a long three weeks for the her, playing Fed Cup in Canada before reaching the semi-finals in Antwerp and now playing 5 matches in testing Dubai heat. Simona is undoubtedly the fresher of the two.

I have written Karolina off twice this week, I’m not going to make the same mistake again here. Karolina has played outstanding tennis this week and is arguably the form player on tour.

The powerful Czech certainly has the game to trouble Simona, her serve has been extremely hard to crack this week and her return game has been just as impressive. Simona’s serve will sit up for Karolina and I think she will be able to break enough times to prevail and claim the biggest title of her career.

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Simona Halep in 2 sets

Simona Halep vs Caroline Wozniacki, Dubai SF Preview

(1) Simona Halep vs (3) Caroline Wozniacki

Friday's second semifinal from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships features two of the pre-tournament favourites: top seed, Simona Halep and former champion, Caroline Wozniacki.

Simona cruised through her first two matches of the week, clinically dispatching Daniela Hantuchova and Tsvetana Pironkova. The Romanian was forced to work much, much harder for her 6-3 1-6 7-5 quarter-final victory over a feisty Ekaterina Makarova.

The third set of Simona's quarter-final victory was particularly tough. Long gruelling rallies were the norm, as both ladies successfully moved each other around the court before hitting into the open court.

Simona squandered loads of chances in the final set, winning just 10 of 12 break points and failing to serve out the match at 5-3. Simona did extremely well to keep her cool and eventually closed out the match on her fifth match point.

 

After a first up scare against Sam Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki has waltzed into the semifinals. Wozniacki won 10 straight games in her commanding 6-4 6-0 victory over Alize Cornet before racing to similar 7-5 6-0 victory over Flavia Pennetta.

Caroline has been as consistent as ever this week in Dubai. The Dane has drawn an extreme number of errors from each of her opponents.

 

This will be the third career meeting between Caro and Simona. The pair have split their first two encounters, it was Halep who came out on top in their most recent match. A comfortable 7-5 6-2 victory on route to her 2013 title in New Haven.

This promises to be a fascinating encounter between two of the most consistent players on tour. I think Simona has a very slight edge in this matchup given the extra power she possess. The Romanian's deep groundstrokes, particularly her backhand down the line will trouble Wozniacki.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets