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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

Dubai Tennis 2019: Elina Svitolina one step closer to hat-trick of titles

Ukrainian sets up last-four clash with Belinda Bencic, while Petra Kvitova faces Hsieh Su-wei in other semi-final

Two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets in Dubai on Thursday night. Ali Haider / EPA
Two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets in Dubai on Thursday night. Ali Haider / EPA

Elina Svitolina beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday night.

Svitolina, who won the Dubai title in 2017 and 2018 and is looking for an unprecedented third straight title, will face Belinda Bencic in the last four.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland has had back-to-back nights of hard-fought wins in Dubai. Francois Nel / Getty Images
Belinda Bencic of Switzerland has had back-to-back nights of hard-fought wins in Dubai. Francois Nel / Getty Images

Bencic sends Halep out

Swiss Bencic defeated former world No 1 Simona Halep in three sets on Thursday to seal a spot in the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The 21-year-old outlasted the reigning French Open champion, a winner in Dubai in 2015, in two hours and 17 minutes on Centre Court, despite going a set down, to eventually triumph 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Bencic will now play in the last four either two-defending champion Elina Svitolina or Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, who took to the court immediately after her victory.

Petra Kvitova, right, proved too strong for Viktoria Kuzmova in Dubai on Thursday. Ali Haider / EPA
Petra Kvitova, right, proved too strong for Viktoria Kuzmova in Dubai on Thursday. Ali Haider / EPA

Kvitova powers into semis

No 2 seed Petra Kvitova raced into the semi-finals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a convincing 6-4, 6-0 victory against Viktoria Kuzmova on Thursday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, winner in Dubai in 2013, needed only one hour and two minutes to see off her Slovakian opponent on Centre Court.

Kvitova will take on Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei for a place in the final after the world No 31 upset 2015 finalist Karolina Pliskova in the preceding match.

Hsieh's strong comeback

Hsieh booked her place in the semi-finals by registering a remarkable comeback against Pliskova.

The world No 31, who defeated Angelique Kerber in the last 16, rebounded from 5-1 down in the third set to eventually win 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, rounding out the match in a little less than two hours.

Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei recovered to beat Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova in Dubai on Thursday. Karim Sahib / AFP / KARIM SAHIB
Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei recovered to beat Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova in Dubai on Thursday. Karim Sahib / AFP / KARIM SAHIB

Updated: February 21, 2019 11:14 PM

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