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.

Elina Svitolina knocked off the top seeded Angelique Kerber to advance to Saturday’s final. It was a typically gritty contest between two of the best movers on the tour, however Kerber was suffering with a knee injury as the match wore on and Svitolina was ultimately too strong as she claimed a 6-3 7-6 victory, her third victory in a row over the German. Svitolina’s greatest test of the tournament came at the third round stage where she battled from a set and a break down to defeat Christina McHale. The Ukrainian also claimed straight set wins over Lauren Davis and Saisai Zheng on route to the final in Dubai.

Caroline Wozniacki has won an incredible 10 matches in 10 days. The Dane arrived in Dubai straight from Doha where she reached the final and has done extremely well to back-up that performance with a second final in two weeks. Wozniacki’s route to the final has been favourable, starting with straight set wins over Daria Kasatkina and Viktorija Golubic. Wozniacki’s biggest test was surprisingly a third round match with Kateryna Bondarenko where Wozniacki was forced into a third set. The former champion in Dubai recovered well from that scare to claim straight set wins over Catherine Bellis before securing her spot in the final with another comfortable straight set win over Anastasija Sevastova.

Elina Svitolina won the only previous match between the pair, a 5-7 6-4 7-6 in Miami in 2016. The previous match highlights just how evenly matched these two are, a true reflection that there is very little to separate the pair.

This is obviously a very hard match to predict, there is very little to separate the pair. It will all come down to who can execute their game on the day, a key in this match-up will be who is able to force more short balls from their opponent because both will find it hard to hit winners. I’m going to give the edge to Wozniacki, the Dane is more experienced, especially in finals and has won far more titles than her younger opponent. I think Wozniacki is also generally more solid form the baseline, and has a more secure serve and perhaps a slightly better return of serve. If Wozniacki can execute her game she should have slight edge here. Svitolina is more likely to break down in key moments, both her forehand and her second serve and vulnerable, more so than any of Wozniacki’s shots.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Elina Svitolina in 3 sets


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