Simona Halep vs. Belinda Bencic, Dubai QF Preview

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿช Dubai DFTC โ€“ QF Preview
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด (3) Simona Halep vs. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Belinda Bencic

Simona Halep continues her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign on Thursday evening with a quarter-final showdown against Belinda Bencic. Halep has done well to quickly recover from playing in the Doha final on Saturday and thus far has conserved energy well in Dubai given she is yet to drop a set.

Halep has done well to come through a couple of tight matches in straight sets to reach the quarter-final stage in Dubai. The 2015 Dubai champion started the event with a hard-fought 7-6 6-4 win over Eugenie Bouchard before battling past Lesia Tsurenko 6-3 7-5. Importantly, Halep has been able to raise her game at the business end of each set this tournament, that was on full display in the second set against Tsurenko where Halep won the last 12 points of the match, a good sign that Halep is feeling really confident at the moment.

Belinda Bencic is through to her first premier level quarter-final since Connecticut last year. Bencic started her Dubai campaign with a 6-4 7-6 win over Lucie Hradecka before cruising past Stefanie Voegele 6-1 6-1. Bencicโ€™s best win of the tournament and indeed her best win of the year came at the third round stage where she saved match points in an epic 6-4 2-6 7-6 victory against Aryna Sabalenka.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It has been a while since these two have gone head-to-head, their most recent match was back in 2015 in the Toronto final where Bencic won in 3 sets via retirement. Halep won their only completed match 6-4 6-1 at Wimbledon in 2014.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Dubai R3 Preview

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿช Dubai DFTC โ€“ R3 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช (5) Angelique Kerber vs. ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Su-Wei Hsieh

Angelique Kerber and Su-Wei Hsieh will renew hostilities when they collide at the third round stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday. Kerber has made a decent start to the season and is seemingly on the cusp of breaking through to the next level, perhaps this week in Dubai?

IAngelique Kerber of Germany celebrates winning her second-round match at the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Kerber arrived in Dubai on the back of a decent week in Doha where she won a couple of good matches on route to the semi-final stage where she succumbed to the eventual champion Elsie Mertens. Kerber started her Dubai campaign with a topsy-turvy straight set win over Dalila Jakupovic. Kerber overcame a 1-5 deficit in the opening set on route to a 7-6 6-3 victory.

Hsieh has cruised through her first couple of matches in Dubai over solid opponents. Hsieh started the week with a 6-4 6-2 upset win over the 10th seeded Anastasija Sevastova before thrashing Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-2. Hsieh will need to take her game to an even higher level on Wednesday in Dubai if she is to claim her first career win over Kerber.

Kerber has won both of the previous matches between the pair, but both of those wins were difficult, both wins were from a set down. The most recent match between the pair took place at the Australian Open last year where Kerber won 4-6 7-5 6-2 in a very high quality match.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Saisai Zheng, Dubai R2 Preview

๐Ÿช Dubai DFTC โ€“ R2 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ (12) Garbine Muguruza vs. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Saisai Zheng

The 12th seeded Garbine Muguruza continues her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign on Tuesday with a second round clash against Chinaโ€™s Saisai Zheng. Muguruza claimed an important opening round win on Sunday against Dayana Yastremska, an opponent she has struggled against in the past and will look to keep that momentum going with a solid showing against Zheng.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during the first round of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Muguruza fought from a set down to defeat Dayana Yastremska 4-6 6-3 6-3 to reach the second round in Dubai. A good win for Muguruza considering she lost to Yastremska in their only 2 previous matches. Though it must be said the match was not played at a high quality with the pair combining for over 100 unforced errors.

Saisai Zheng secured her spot in the second round in Dubai with a dramatic 3 set win over Ajla Tomljanovic. Zheng found herself up 5-1 in the deciding set but stumbled to lose the next 4 games as Tomljanovic levelled for 5-5. Zheng did well to remain composed given the circumstances and eventually claimed a 6-2 4-6 7-5 win.

The only previous match between the pair took place earlier this year at the opening round stage of the Australian Open, Muguruza won that match 6-2 6-3.

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Naomi Osaka vs. Kristina Mladenovic, Dubai R2 Preview

๐Ÿช Dubai DFTC โ€“ R2 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต (1) Naomi Osaka vs. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Kristina Mladenovic

Naomi Osaka will be in action for the first time since her historic Australian Open triumph when she comes up against Franceโ€™s Kristina Mladenovic at the second round stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The top seeded Osaka received a bye through the first round and will be playing her first match since splitting with coach Sascha Bajin.

Naomi Osaka of Japan during the All Access Hour ahead of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka is the undisputed world number 1 in the womenโ€™s game. Osaka has won the last two Grand Slam titles and now rightfully sits at the top of the rankings. All the more reason why her recent decision to split with coach Sascha Bajin was such shocking news, especially given how far she has come under his guidance. It will be very interesting to see how Osaka goes without Bajin, perhaps this is where she starts to stutter?

Kristina Mladenovic has made a typically ordinary start to the season but benefited from a favourable opening round draw in Dubai. Mladenovic came up against local wild card Fatma Al-Nabhani and easily won 6-1 6-1. Safe to say Mladenovic will face a far, far greater test against Osaka in the next round.

The only previous meeting between the pair took place in Dubai last year, Osaka won that match 6-2 6-2.

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Elina Svitolina vs Angelique Kerber, Dubai SF Preview

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ (1) Elina Svitolina vs ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช (6) Angelique Kerber

A blockbuster semi-final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sees the top seed and defending champion: Elina Svitolina, take on the in-form player on the tour right now: Angelique Kerber. This will be the second time in as many years these two have gone head-to-head at the semi-final stage in Dubai. This has been a very successful match-up for Svitolina in recent times, the Ukrainian has won the last 4 matches between the pair, 3 of those victories were in straight sets. Nevertheless, it is Kerber who has been more impressive in 2018, can the resurgent German avenge her recent defeats at the hands of Svitolina?

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Whilst Svitolina has not necessarily been at her best in 2018, she still has a very positive 12/2 win/loss record thus far. Svitolina started her title defense in Dubai with a scrappy 3 set victory over Qiang Wang after receiving a bye through the opening round. The top seed confirmed her spot in the semi-finals by navigating her way past the dangerous Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-4. Svitolinaโ€™s consistency was too much for a wayward Osaka to handle, Svitolina will face a much tougher test in the next round as she takes on a red-hot Angelique Kerber, the German will not give Svitolina gifts like Osaka did in the previous round.

Angelique Kerber has won more matches than any other player in 2018, amassing a very impressive 19/2 win/loss record. Kerber has breezed through to the semi-finals in Dubai without dropping a set, claiming victories over Barbora Strycova, Sara Errani and Karolina Pliskova. Kerber confirmed her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-4 6-3 demolition of Karolina Pliskova. It was a near-flawless performance by Kerber who did not face 1 break point all match.

It is Svitolina who heads into this match with a 6-5 head-to-head record over the German. Svitolina has won the last 4 matches between the two and 6 of the last 9. The pair met on 3 occasions last year, Svitolina beat Kerber in 3 sets in Brisbane, straight sets in Dubai and 6-4 6-2 on clay in a Fed Cup tie in what was their most recent encounter.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Daria Kasatkina, Dubai SF Preview

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ (2) Garbine Muguruza vs ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Daria Kasatkina

Garbine Muguruza and Daria Kasatkina will go head-to-head in the first semi-final at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. If the last meeting between the pair is anything to go by, we are in for an exciting encounter. The most recent match between the pair took place in Brisbane last year, an epic which ended in a final set tiebreak, Muguruza saved match point on route to a memorable victory. Muguruza and Kasatkina are both in great form heading into this match, expect another close battle between two tough competitors.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her quarter-final at the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA Premier tennis tournament

Garbine Muguruza is having a good couple of weeks in the Middle East after a poor start to the season. The Spaniard ignited her 2018 season in Doha last week where she reached the final, Muguruza fell just short against Kvitova in what was a high quality, 3 set final. It was an important week for Muguruza in Doha given she was yet to win back-to-back matches heading into the event. After a short turnaround, Muguruza has done well to adapt to the conditions in Dubai. The second seed has won a couple of straight set matches to reach the semi-finals in Dubai, beating Catherine Bellis 6-3 7-5 and Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-2.

Daria Kasatkina has also seen a seen a significant reversal in her fortunes over the last few weeks. It all started for Kasatkina in St. Petersburg where she upset world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki on rote to a semi-final showing. It has been another impressive week for Kasatkina in Dubai. The Russian has beaten 3 quality opponents on rote to the semi-finals. The 20-year-old started the week with a straight set win over former champion Agnieszka Radwanska before coming from a set and a break down, saving match points to defeat Johanna Konta. Kasatkina confirmed her spot in the semi-finals with a 7-6 6-1 win over Elena Vesnina.

Muguruza has won both of the previous matches between the pair. A 6-4 6-1 win on clay in Marrakech in 2015 and more recently a hard-fought 7-5 3-6 7-6 victory at the Brisbane International last year.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Caroline Garcia, Dubai QF Preview

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, QF Preview
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ (2) Garbine Muguruza vs ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท (5) Caroline Garcia

Garbine Muguruza and Caroline Garcia will go head-to-head for the second time in as many weeks when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday. Muguruza got the better of the Frenchwoman last week, coming from a set down to beat Garcia in the quarter-finals in Doha. Muguruza has won both of the previous matches beaten the pair, it will be interesting to see if the Spaniard can keep her perfect record over the Frenchwoman alive.

Embed from Getty Images

Garbine Muguruza arrived in Dubai fresh off a solid run to the final in Doha last week. Muguruza came up just short against Kvitova in the Doha final but still had a lot of positives to take from that match and the week in general. The Spaniard started her Dubai campaign with a 6-3 7-5 win over Catherina Bellis in a match that started at around midnight and ended at close to 2am. It will be interesting to see how Muguruza recovers.

Caroline Garcia has advanced to the quarter-final stage in Dubai with a couple of victories over tough opponents. Garcia started the week with a tight straight set win over Lucie Safarova before confirming her spot in the final 8 with a 6-4 6-2 win over Ekaterina Makarova. What has stood out this week has been Garciaโ€™s ability to play well at all the important stages, this is an area where Garcia has generally improved quite significantly over the last few months.

Muguruza has a perfect 2-0 record over Garcia. Muguruza beat Garcia 6-4 6-2 in Tokyo last year and 3-6 6-1 6-4 in Doha last week.

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Elina Svitolina vs Caroline Wozniacki, Dubai Final Preview

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Final Preview:
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ (7) Elina Svitolina vs ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (10) Caroline Wozniacki

Saturdayโ€™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

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview:
(1) ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Angelique Kerber vs (7) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 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

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview:
(10) ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Caroline Wozniacki vs ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป 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 Fridayโ€™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 Daneโ€™s heavy recent schedule.

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