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Friday April 12, 2024

Iga Swiatek aims to create history with Doha-Dubai double as unbeaten record continues

Iga Swiatek is now on the verge of a rare Doha-Dubai double, aiming to become the first woman since 2007 to achieve this remarkable feat

By Web Desk
February 23, 2024
World number one Iga Swiatek. — AFP File
World number one Iga Swiatek. — AFP File 

World number one Iga Swiatek secured a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory over Chinese sixth seed Zheng Qinwen in the quarter-finals of the Dubai WTA tournament. 

Swiatek, who recently claimed her third consecutive title in Doha, is now on the verge of a rare Doha-Dubai double, aiming to become the first woman since 2007 to achieve this remarkable feat.

This marked the sixth meeting between Swiatek and Zheng in the last 20 months, and the Polish top seed maintained her perfect record of 6-0 against the Chinese player. 

"I'm happy that I played well, stuck to my tactics, was pretty solid. For sure I feel better and better every day here," expressed Swiatek, highlighting her growing confidence.

The victory lifted Swiatek into a semi-final clash with Russian world number 40 Anna Kalinskaya, who upset world number three Coco Gauff in a thrilling match that ended 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. Swiatek, a finalist in Dubai last year, is poised for a challenging encounter with Kalinskaya, as the two face off for the first time on Friday.

Meanwhile, an unfortunate withdrawal came from world number four Elena Rybakina, citing a gastrointestinal illness. 

Rybakina's decision elevated Italian Jasmine Paolini into the semi-finals, marking her first appearance in a WTA 1000 event's last-four stage. Paolini is set to meet Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who achieved what she described as the "biggest comeback of my career."

Cirstea, at 33, is now the oldest semifinalist in the history of the WTA tournament in Dubai. She overcame a 2-6, 1-5 deficit and saved six match points to defeat reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 2-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-2. 

"I'll be honest, I didn't expect to win this one being down a set and 5-1," admitted Cirstea, emphasizing the unexpected turn of events.

As the WTA tournament in Dubai unfolds with surprises and setbacks, fans eagerly anticipate the semi-final clashes, including the headline-making showdown between Swiatek and Kalinskaya, promising another chapter in the quest for the Doha-Dubai double.