The 2017 Middle East swing came to a crescendo on Saturday with the final of the Dubai Duty Free Championships. This post presents the highlights from Dubai with best bits from the tournament including a recap of the final and links to memorable matches, shots, points and plenty more. If you fancy a trip down memory lane, you can check out my previous Match Points tournament posts starting from 2016. Read on for Dubai’s Match Points…
Elina Svitolina won the biggest title of her career, beating Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4 6-2 in the final of Dubai. I think this was one of the best performances i’ve witnessed from Elina – she defended magnificently and conjured up some delightful passing shot winners. When the chance arose, she was also aggressive and was mostly lethal off the forehand wing. Svitolina sealed the win with a tremendous backhand winner down-the-line.
For Wozniacki, it was her 11th match in as many days and it began to show at times in this match as she missed a lot off her usually rock-solid backhand. Still, a greatttt two weeks for Wozniacki and an even better week for Svitolina.
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won a rain-interrupted but quality doubles final against Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai, 6-2 4-6 10-7.
By virtue of winning her biggest title, Svitolina will crack the world’s top ten in next week’s rankings and jump to #2 (!) in the Race to Singapore. The 22-year-old is also on a 12 match winning streak with a 17-2 W-L record for 2017.
I really liked this picture of Christina McHale from the start of the tournament.
CiCi Bellis had a super week and produced a couple of majestic comebacks:
In her first round match against Yulia Putintseva, Bellis recovered a *1-5 second set deficit and saved three set points to win in straight sets, 6-1 7-5.
In her second round match against Laura Siegemund, Bellis rallied from 2-4* 40-Adv* down in the first set and *1-4 down in the second set to win in straight sets, 7-5 7-6(3).
Nothing really special this week – I did though enjoy the third round match between CiCi Bellis and Agnieszka Radwanska where Bellis scored the biggest win of her career, 6-4 2-6 6-2.
I couldn’t keep it to just one this week! Firstly, a 26 shot rally from the second round match between Angelique Kerber and Mona Barthel. This had some great defence from Barthel but Kerber’s aggression paid off in the end.
Gorgeous finish by Kristina Mladenovic to a power-punishing point in her first round match against Katerina Siniakova.
Love the Agnieszka Radwanska tweener but nicely handled by Elise Mertens.
A jumping backhand winner from Daria Kasatkina… awesome #1!
A right-handed reflex volley from Angelique Kerber…. awesome #2!
Woz and the rain.
Loved this from Monica Puig and moving away from Social Media.
Naomi Osaka is a delight.
Tennis Draw Challenge Champion
Congratulations to AngledForehand who won the Draw Challenge for Dubai. To join in the fun, you can enter Tennis Draw Challenge and join the Moo’s Tennis Blog league.