Swiatek and Krejcikova to contest Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final

World No 1 takes on former French Open champion for the title on Saturday

Iga Swiatek beat Coco Gauff in the semi-finals to reach the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. AFP
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Top seed Iga Swiatek will face former world No 2 Barbora Krejcikova in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final after both players successfully came through their semi-final matches on Friday.

Swiatek, the world No 1, extended her dominance over Coco Gauff, beating the American fifth seed comfortably for the sixth time in six meetings as the Pole eased to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

It continues a blistering return to form for the three-time Grand Slam champion, who arrived in the UAE following a dominant march to the Qatar Open title, where she conceded just five games in three matches.

"For sure I'm happy that I started both sets well," Swiatek, 21, said. "I think she used her chances to come back and to win a break.

"But honestly, I felt like with the way I started I could also always come back to the game I played at the beginning. I'm pretty happy that I was solid and just confident."

Swiatek will understandably be favourite for Saturday's final, but she admitted she is being hindered slightly by a cold.

"I have a sore throat, just having a cold," she said. "Not the first time during the tournaments. I'm already experienced!"

There is also the not small matter of Krejcikova to contend with in the final, and the Czech will not be intimidated by the seemingly unstoppable world No 1. Krejcikova proved once again that she is more than a match for the best players in the world with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 win over third seed Jessica Pegula.

Barbora Krejcikova beat Jessica Pegula to reach the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final. AFP

The Czech, who won the French Open title in 2021, has now eliminated the world No 2 and 3 in successive rounds, following her superb comeback win over Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in Thursday's quarter-finals, although Pegula appeared to be struggling as the match wore on.

"It definitely gives me a lot of confidence," Krejcikova said about her last two wins. "I think my game is improving with every match and I'm really happy with that.

"Tomorrow is going to be new match, new day, different player, different day definitely. I just have to sleep well today and just try to prepare the best way because I'm going to be playing the best player in the world."

Updated: February 24, 2023, 9:25 PM