?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, ? Final Preview
?? (1) Elina Svitolina vs ?? Daria Kasatkina
Elina Svitolina is just 1 step away from successfully defending her title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and claiming her second title of the season. Standing in Svitolina’s way is an in-form Daria Kasatkina, the Russian heads into Saturday’s final in Dubai fresh off an epic, confidence boosting 3 set victory over Garbine Muguruza. Svitolina has an outstanding record in finals having won her last 6 finals, the Ukrainian holds an overall 10/2 record in championship matches. Can Svitolina build of her impressive record in finals on Saturday in Dubai?
Svitolina has been typically consistent in 2018, the world number 6 has amassed a 13/2 win/loss record. Svitolina won more titles than any other player in 2017 and is now one step away from winning a second title in 2018 having started the year winning the Brisbane International title. It has been a decent week for Svitolina, the top seed has improved her level progressively as her opponents became tougher. The 23-year-old started the week with a scrappy 3 set win over Qiang Wang before navigating her way past the threat of Naomi Osaka in straight sets. Svitolina confirmed her spot in Saturday’s final with a surprisingly comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Angelique Kerber.
Daria Kasatkina is having an epic week in Dubai. The Russian has saved multiple match points on two occasions on route to the final, claiming epic wins over Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza. On both occasions where Kasatkina saved match points she also came from a set and a break down, her opponent served for the match on each occasion before Kasatkina won a second set tiebreak and run away with the match in the third set. Kasatkina has also claimed straight set wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and Elena Vesnina this week.
Svitolina has won both of the previous matches between the pair, neither have been easy victories. A 6-4 5-7 6-0 win in New Haven in 2016 and more recently a 7-6 6-4 win at the Rogers Cup last year. Svitolina and Kasatkina are two of the quickest players on tour, two of the best defenders, expect to see a tight final in Dubai, featuring a lot of long rallies.