Svitolina battles into Dubai q'finals

Svitolina battles into Dubai q'finals”

Angelique Kerber will face No 3 seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals. The Ukrainian, top seed for the first time in a Premier tournament, kept alive her hopes of retaining a title for the second time in her career with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over No.48 Naomi Osaka, coming back from 2-4 in the second set.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko's disappointing 2018 season continued as she was knocked out of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships by Elena Vesnina. "I was little bit angry at myself that I didn't bring my best game in the end of the second set". But the momentum changed as Osaka eventually found her serve and hit her groundstrokes with confidence, pace and accuracy. However, Wang broke in the 11th game of the second to level the match and Svitolina could clinch the win after 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Svitolina will play Japan's Naomi Osaka on Thursday for a place in the semifinals.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina was put to the test in her first match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday. "We were both a little bit struggling". I was just trying to stay in the match and trying to not think about how she was playing. That's pretty much it.

The Ukrainian got off to a flawless start and dominated the first set completely but only to see her game taken apart in the second.

"Yeah, definitely I'm happy the way I've been handling the pressure and tough moments". I had two good matches. I was playing very clean.

Just one break decided the first set between Kerber and Pliskova. Vesina had a ideal start and with two breaks she raced to a 4-0 lead. Kerber did not face a break point and she has now won 15 matches this year, equalling the total of Australian Open champion and world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

More news: CP NewsAlert: Canada's Boutin wins silver in women's 1000 short track

"I think that I was playing quite good today", said Kerber.

"I had some kind of weird games on my serve". I think that was at the end the key for the match.

"I know how to play on the centre court".

"Jelena is a young star and she's a really good player - it's tough to beat her". "I was trying to, yeah, playing good returns back, then just playing my game".

Four players have qualified for a place in the main draw, with 2016 Dubai champion Sara Errani edging past Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 1-6 7-6 (4), Lesia Tsurenko beating Zarina Diyas 6-1 6-2, Sofya Zhuk defeating Qiang Wang 6-1 6-2 and Samantha Stosur claiming a 6-1 6-4 win over Maria Sakkari. "Angelique Kerber has made a terrific start to the season by winning in Sydney, and Elina Svitolina has also been playing well with the Brisbane title under her belt".

"The first of our semi-finals is set and it should be a fantastic contest", said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. Played with the account 2:5, Svitolina failed the end of the set and was in a hard position. "We were both giving our best and we were fighting the end - it was set point, then match point, it was up and down", said Vesnina.

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