Krejcikova stuns Swiatek to take Dubai title
Barbora Krejcikova defeated Iga Swiatek to capture the WTA title in Dubai on Saturday, becoming the fourth woman this century to defeat three of the world’s best players in the same tournament.
For the former French Open champion Krejcikova, ranked 30th in the world, this was the sixth title in her career.
The 27-year-old Czech recorded a six-match, 12-set winning streak of 6-4, 6-2 for Swiatek in one hour and 31 minutes in front of full spectators at Dubai Duty Free Tennis. stadium.
Kreychikova also defeated Australian Open runner-up Arina Sobolenko in the quarterfinals and world No. 3 Jessica Pegula in the semifinals.
Only Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Sobolenko managed to beat all three of the best players in the same tournament in the 2000s.
“This is a huge achievement, what I was able to do this week. I really enjoyed all the matches, I definitely enjoy playing on the big courts,” said Kreychikova, who will move up to 16th in the rankings on Monday.
It was a week of great runs from Kreichikova, who saved four match points against eighth-placed Darya Kasatkina in the second round and bounced back 0-6, losing 1-3 in her quarter-final against Sobolenko.
“This title certainly means a lot. It was a great week for me, I improved every game and today I showed my best,” said Krejcikova, who also defeated Swiatek in the final in Ostrava last October.
Now they are 2-2 in career meetings.
“I have a lot of respect for Iga, she inspires me a lot, she motivates me every day. It was a great finale and I’m definitely happy with the result,” she added.
A backhand from the carefree Krejcikova at an acute angle gave the Czech a break on the first serve, which helped her to a 3-1 lead.
Swiatek hit back, returning to a level playing field, but her three-match break began a four-game streak in which neither player could hold the pitch.
Krejcikova finally broke the trend by scoring the last eight points in a row in a set to take a 6-4 lead in 44 minutes. It was the first set Swiatek lost since losing to Elena Rybakina in the fourth round of the Australian Open last month.
The 21-year-old Pole won Doha last week and advanced to Saturday’s final after losing just 14 games in six matches in the Persian Gulf.
Swiatek took a toilet break between sets and had a bit of an argument with chair referee Pierre Bacca when she returned to the court, which ultimately ended with her getting a time violation for taking too long.
Both players regained consistency on serve early in the second set before Krejcikova found an opportunity to take a 4-2 lead. That cushion was enough to propel the 27-year-old to an outstanding victory and her sixth singles title of her career.
Swiatek lost the WTA 1000 final for the first time in her career. She won all five tournaments in which she previously participated.
“I’m pretty sure we’ll have many finals, but I hope next time everything goes my way, because the last two went to you,” said Swiatek Krejcicova after congratulating the Czech during the awards ceremony.
“Excuse my team. I am almost sure that we will get much more, we will continue to work.”