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Elina Svitolina stuns Kerber to reach final in Dubai

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World number four and defending champion Elina Svitolina cruised past former world number one Angelique Kerber, while Russia’s Daria Kasatkina shocked second seed Garbine Muguruza to reach the final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina made quick work of Angelique Kerber in a 6-3 6-3 semi-final victory on Friday.

Svitolina had five breaks of serve against double Grand Slam champion Kerber, wrapping up victory in just 85 minutes.

“I am very pleased to be in the final again,” said Svitolina.

“It was a tough battle. I played well in the tight moments, I tried to focus only on what I had to do on court and let nothing else into my mind.”

The 23-year-old Ukrainian has now won her last five encounters against the twice grand slam champion.

The victory puts Svitolina within touching distance of becoming only the third women’s player, alongside Justine Henin and Venus Williams, to win successive Dubai titles.

In an earlier match, world number 24, Daria Kasatkina saved three match points and produced a determined display to outlast world number three Garbine Muguruza 3-6 7-6(11) 6-1 in just over 2 hours and 30 minutes.

”I was just trying to fight for every ball because Garbine, she’s playing unbelievable,“ Kasatkina said. ”She’s hitting so hard, playing so fast. I was just trying to do whatever I could.

“(Tomorrow) is a final already, so I have to put everything that’s left in my body into this match. I hope I will.”

Daria Kasatkina in action against Garbine Muguruza in their semis match at the Dubai Championships

It was the 20-year-old Russian’s first victory over the Spaniard as she continued her fine run of form against top-five ranked players, winning five of her eight meetings.

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