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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Defending champion Elina Svitolina beats Angelique Kerber to set up WTA Dubai Free Tennis Championships final clash with Daria Kasatkina

The top seed proves too good for her German opponent as she prevails 6-3, 6-3.

Elina Svitolina is through to the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second successive year. Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters
Elina Svitolina is through to the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second successive year. Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters

Elina Svitolina remains on track to be only the third woman to win back-to-back WTA Dubai Duty Tennis Championships after reaching Saturday's final.

The No 1 seed put in her most impressive of the tournament so far as she convincingly defeated Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3 on Centre Court.

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Svitolina, the world No 4, won a first set that had six breaks of serve in total, before recovering from going an early break down in the second set to bounce back to set up a showdown on Saturday with Daria Kasatkina, who earlier on Friday had shocked Garbine Muguruza in the first semi-final.

Only Justine Henin and Venus Williams have previously won successive Dubai titles in the event's history.

Svitolina told reporters post-match that she was relieved the match had not gone to a third set.

"I'm happy that it was in two sets because before we had such a tough battles," she said. "Physically it was very tough. Yeah, I'm very happy that I saved little bit more energy on my next opponent."

Of facing Kasatkina on Saturday, she added: "She had tough road to the final. I will just try to focus on my game, you know, as I did before. She produced a good game. But I will try to be ready and, yeah, just take the next opponent on."

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