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.
8 thoughts on “Highlights of WTA Dubai 2017, Match Points: Elina Svitolina wins biggest title & cracks top ten”
Really annoys me that the vast majority of people complain about a lack of consistency in WTA players, and yet when a player like Svitolina comes along and is incredibly consistent, they don’t really get behind her.
Can’t wait to watch the match back when I get home from work!
You’re in for a treat 😉 I know what you mean, i’ve noticed a lot of negativity towards Elina’s game on Twitter but I do feel the tide turning a little. I hope she keeps building on this week. I really do think she will make Singapore this year.
I’m always in for consistency 😉 I love that Aga and Angie are consistent, and in a certain way, Serena is too (if she is playing). Also, I might have started to like Svitolina 😀 Let’s see for the next weeks 😉
Wow – I’ve only seen the first set but was quite impressed. I’ve always wondered why Andrew is such a big fan (at least I think so?) but now I can see why. Her defence is great – she is as quick as Kerber, Woz and Aga and very athletic. Her shots from the baseline are well played, too. Her backhand crosscourt can create some great angles and her BDTL is not bad at all. Also, her first seve and her forehand are better than I first thought. She still has some weaknesses but I guess she will try to improve them? I think her second serve sometimes is as bad as Kerber’s second serve. Also – I strongly agree with you James – she should go to the net more often. There are still some heavy misses (maybe because she is not quickly enough adjusting her shots) but there were also some great winners in the first set when she was taking the ball from insight the baseline.
Altogether, I might watch her more often and I think she really deserved her Top 10 spot. I’ve looked up her progress over the years and as far as I’ve seen it, she has made a really steady progress. It’s interesting that she was able to reach the finals of both, Wimbledon and FO (winning the latter) in her junior carreer.
I do hope, she doesn’t intent to play in Kuala Lumpur though. She should rest and look forward to playing IW and Miami.
I’ve been a fan of hers since 2014 but it was towards the end of 2015 when I really begun to believe she was a future top 5 player. I’d go as far to say I believe she could win a Slam.
I agree though and hope she isn’t intending on playing Kuala Lumpur. She’ll be potentially one to watch in Indian Wells and Miami.
She said in her press conference that she was catching a flight to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow night…
I hope she thinks better of it!
Playing four weeks on the bounce in different time zones is far too much for any player!
How about safarova vs Babos. I think Babos takes it in 3