Svitolina beats Kasatkina to defend Dubai title

Top seed Elina Svitolina clinched her second winner’s trophy in 2018 by defending her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title, confidently defeating Daria Kasatkina 6-4 6-0 in the final.

After saving multiple match points in the second round against Johanna Konta and in the semifinals against Garbine Muguruza, unseeded Kasatkina lacked consistency and energy to challenge Svitolina, who has improved to 11-2 in the WTA finals. In a battle of two counterpunchers, it was Svitolina’s forehand that stood out and the Ukrainian didn’t drop serve throughout the encounter that lasted one hour and 10 minutes.

After a first-round bye, Svitolina defeated Wang Qiang in the second round, Naomi Osaka in the quarterfinals, sixth seed Angelique Kerber in the semis, and finally the world No.24 Kasatkina for the third time in as many meetings with the Russian.

Just like Petra Kvitova, who won St. Petersburg and Doha this February, in Dubai Svitolina wore Nike’s crimson tint separates from Spring 2018 collection, in particular the Dry Slam Tank and Ace Shorts.

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