?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, SF Preview
?? (2) Garbine Muguruza vs ?? 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 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.