Elina Svitolina defeats Angelique Kerber to remain on course to defend Dubai title
Defending champion and number one seed Elina Svitolina is back in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after a straight sets victory against Angelique Kerber.
Svitolina continued her dominance over the German with a 6-3 6-3 win on Friday to take her head-to-head record against Kerber to 5-0.
A strange start to the match saw five successive breaks of serve before Svitolina held and went on to take the opening set.
Kerber put herself in a good position to level the match when she broke early on in the second set to lead 2-1 but the world number four reeled off four straight games to retake control before closing out the match.
Svitolina will play Daria Kasatkina in the final after the Russian defeated Garbine Muguruza in a three-set thriller.
Angelique KerberGetty Images
Kasatkina saved three match points in the second set before overpowering the Wimbledon champion in the decider to claim a 3-6 7-6 (11/9) 6-1 victory.
In Budapest, top seed Dominika Cibulkova is through to the semi-finals of the Hungarian Ladies Open after defeating Johanna Larsson 6-3 6-2.
Cibulkova’s efficiency won the day, with the Slovakian breaking twice from just three opportunities in the first set before a double break in the second set sealed her passage. The 28-year-old will now face Mona Barthel after she overcame Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure 6-3 6-4.
The other two quarter-final matches were also straight sets affairs as Viktoria Kuzmova beat Petra Martic 6-4 6-2 and Alison Van Uytvanck was a 6-2 6-4 winner against Shuai Zhang.