Dubai Open: Barbora Krejcikova sets final showdown against Garbine Muguruza

Garbine Muguruza and Barbora Krejcikova will play the final of the Dubai Open on Saturday.

In Friday’s first semi-final, Muguruza outlasted 10th seed Elise Mertens 6-4, 7-6(5). The match was peppered with inconsistency on the part of both players. The Spaniard, however, managed to edge out the Belgian each time things came to a head. In the opening set, it was Muguruza who went up a break and although she was broken when serving for the set in the ninth game – and after having a set point – she regrouped quickly to break Mertens back to go up in the match. The second set played out on similar lines; only this time, Mertens staved off match points before breaking Muguruza to go up 6-5 with a chance to serve the set and take the match to the decider. However, the ninth seed broke back right away and, in the tie-break, after squandering two more match points, claimed the win on her seventh match point. 

Dubai Open: Barbora Krejcikova reaches 1st WTA 1000 final

Analysing her performance, Muguruza noted in her press conference, “I think it was a very tough match. It was two sets but a tough two sets, long points, a lot of rallies. It was a very physical match. I don’t think I played bad the match points. I didn’t lose the concentration or get too irritated. She was bringing her best shots at the right time, and I was happy and relieved in the end that I could close it out in two sets. I could feel that if she got the second set, she was going to be more pumped for the third set. She was tough, she was hanging in there.”

Muguruza has now reached two finals back-to-back – at the Qatar Total Open last week and now, here, in Dubai. This is also the former world no. 1’s third final this season, with her first coming at the Yarra Valley Classic (lost to Ashleigh Barty). Muguruza is also the first Spaniard to reach the final of the tournament in its history.

In the second semi-final at the Dubai Open, Krejcikova made it look easy against Jil Teichmann in her 7-5, 6-2 win. In the opening set, Krejcikova came from down a break – saving two set points – and took the lead after winning the last three games in a row. The second set was relatively easier although Krejcikova had to fend off break points while serving for the match in the eighth game and then, needed a third match point to reach the biggest final of her career.

Photo Credit: Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships