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BEAT | Qualifier Kalinskaya stuns Gauff to set up semifinal with Swiatek

IANS | Updated on Friday, February 23, 2024 09:51 AM IST
Qualifier Kalinskaya stuns Gauff to set up semifinal with Swiatek

DUBAI: Qualifier Anna Kalinskaya rallied back from a set-down to beat world No. 3 Coco Gauff 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 and set up a surprise semifinal with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Into her first WTA 1000 semifinal, No.40 Kalinskaya will face World No.1 Iga Swiatek on Friday for a spot in the final. The winner will face either No.22 Sorana Cirstea or No.26 Jasmine Paolini in Saturday's final.

Gauff broke Kalinskaya three times in the 46-minute opening set and looked well in control of the match. Playing in her sixth match in her sixth match in seven days, Kalinskaya took a medical timeout at 5-2 to get treatment for her upper back and received additional treatment during the set break.

When play resumed, Gauff failed to hold serve in her first two service games of the set to give Kalinskaya a 2-1 lead. Kalinskaya stretched the lead to 5-2 before the American rallied to close the scoring gap to 5-4. With one more chance to serve out the set, Kalinskaya slammed the door on a Gauff comeback to force a deciding set.

In the decisive third set, an error-strewn Gauff failed to match her opponent, who quickly went ahead 2-0 and showed no signs of the early back pains as she played a variety of powerful forehands from the baseline mixed with angled cross-court backhands that had her opponent on her heels. Serving for the match, Kalinskaya held her nerves and secured and secured the win.

Earlier, Swiatek maintained her unbeaten run through the Middle East seven matches with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Zheng Qinwen in the quarterfinals.

The top seed and Doha champion needed 86 minutes to beat Zheng for a sixth straight time in their head-to-head matches and second time this year to move into the semifinals of the WTA 1000 event.

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