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Dubai Tennis Championships: World number one Iga Swiatek loses semi-final against qualifier Anna Kalinskaya

In Sports
February 23, 2024
Iga Swiatek hits the tennis ball

Iga Swiatek is a three-time French Open champion and won the US Open in 2022

Qualifier Anna Kalinskaya stunned world number one Iga Swiatek to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships final.

Kalinskaya, 25, took one hour and 42 minutes to seal a 6-4 6-4 win against the four-time Grand Slam champion.

“I knew if I didn’t stay calm and aggressive she will destroy me,” said Kalinskaya.

The Russian faces Italy‘s Jasmine Paolini, who beat Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-2 7-6 (8-6), in Saturday’s final.

It is just a second loss in 26 matches for Swiatek after she won the Qatar Open title last week.

“I’m happy I got to play against her and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of each other in the future,” added Kalinskaya.

The world number 40 is the sixth-lowest ranked player to reach the final in Dubai and is the first qualifier to achieve that feat.

Kalinskaya beat world number nine Jelena Ostapenko and world number three Coco Gauff prior to her meeting with Swiatek.

Finalists Kalinskaya and Paolini met at the Australian Open in January, with the former winning 6-4 6-2 in Melbourne.

The pair are both set to feature in their maiden WTA 1000 final when they clash in Dubai.

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