Iga Swiatek beats Coco Gauff to set up Dubai Open final showdown against Barbora Krejcikova



World number one Iga Swiatek extended her perfect record against Coco Gauff to 6-0 with a straight sets victory in the Dubai WTA semi-finals on Friday.

Swiatek triumphed 6-4, 6-2 to set up a championship showdown with Barbora Krejcikova, who knocked out third seed Jessica Pegula 6-1, 5-7, 6-0.

Swiatek, who retained her Doha crown last week, will be targeting a sixth WTA 1000 title on Saturday.

Each time she has reached the quarter-finals at this level in the past, the 21-year-old Pole has gone on to win the title.

She has dropped a mere nine games en route to the final, making it the fewest games every dropped by a player on the way to the championship match at a WTA 1000 tournament.

“I feel like it’s little bit easier playing on slower hard courts comparing to what we played in Australia. I just feel like I can do a little bit more, and I’m kind of using that,” explained Swiatek about her current ruthless form.

“It’s a combination of couple of things because I also worked really hard to get my confidence back in Warsaw. And technique also I feel much better.”

A love break in game three gave Swiatek an early advantage, the world number one outlasting her teenage opponent in a long rally that ended with a Gauff forehand error.

Swiatek widened the gap as Gauff dropped serve again but the Pole couldn’t close out the set on her first attempt, getting broken for the first time in the eighth game.

Gauff dug deep to stave off two break points, venturing up to the net and peppering Swiatek with her backhand to hold for 4-5.

Serving for the set for a second time, Swiatek saw two more set points come and go before she finally converted her fifth to wrap up the opener in 51 minutes.

Gauff’s forehand broke down after a lengthy exchange to hand over her service game to Swiatek at the start of the second set and the top seed was quickly up 4-0.

The young American got one of the breaks back but it only delayed the inevitable as Swiatek dashed to the finish line, booking her spot in the final in one hour 28 minutes.

Saturday’s final will be a rematch of last autumn’s Ostrava title decider, which Krejcikova won in three sets over Swiatek.

Krejcikova, a French Open champion and runner-up in Dubai in 2021, needed two hours to avenge her recent Australian Open defeat to Pegula, who played with a heavily-strapped thigh on Friday and couldn’t celebrate her 29th birthday with a win.

She will take a 1-2 head-to-head record into her final against three-time major champion Swiatek on Saturday.

“It’s always very nice to play the best player in the world, and she is the best right now,” said Krejcikova, who now owns five victories over top-five opponents throughout her career.

“She’s playing great tennis and I’m really looking forward to playing her and I believe it’s going to be a great final.”



Source link

Leave a Comment