The final in Dubai is set and it’s is not what was expected. The semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships were contested on Friday, with one surprise result and one underwhelming battle. When the dust settled, it was Stan Wawrinka and Marcos Baghdatis emerging victorious to set a clash in the finals. Here’s what happened in the semifinals in Dubai.
Wawrinka Returns Favor from Rogers Cup
Back in August, Nick Kyrgios won a controversial match with Stan Wawrinka that has lived on in infamy because of Kyrgios’ controversial comments. Kyrgios won when his Swiss opponent was forced to retire in the third set. In their first match since that controversial battle, Wawrinka reversed the result, being awarded the victory when Kyrgios was forced to retire with injury. The second seed was leading 6-4, 3-0 when the volatile Aussie retired with a back injury.
The opening set was wild, with both men breaking serve as many times as they broke in the opening set. Wawrinka managed to out ace Kyrgios 8-5 and took advantage of some questionable second serves from Kyrgios to out-break his Aussie opponent 3 breaks to two, which would be enough to claim the opening set.
Kyrgios did not serve well in the first set, but things deteriorated quickly in the second set. The young Aussie, who won his first career title last week in Marseille, only won two points on his serve in his first two games of the second set. After surrendering his second break of serve, Kyrgios had enough, retiring because of back pain. After the match, he insisted that he will still be ready for the Davis Cup next week.
Baghdatis Battles Back to Reach Final
Former world number eight Marcos Baghdatis’ dream run continued on Friday, when he upset sixth seed Feliciano Lopez. Baghdatis’ run seemed to be over when Lopez claimed the opening set, but the Cypriot upped his game in the second set, narrowly forcing a deciding set by winning the tiebreak, and rode the momentum to the 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-1 win.
The first set was tight, with neither player having very many opportunities to break serve. Both men had one break point opportunity, and despite facing more pressure against his serve overall, it was Lopez taking advantage of his chance and grabbing the lone break of the opening set.
Lopez began to pile on the pressure in the second set, but the Spaniard could not handle his nerves. He led by a break serving at 4-3, but was broken by Baghdatis, who forced a tiebreak which he dominated. The momentum completely swung to the Cypriot, who after dropping the first game of the final set, won six unanswered games, including three breaks, to reach his first final of the season.
Baghdatis will look to break a six-year title-drought and break Wawrinka’s eight match winning streak in finals when the two clash in tomorrow’s final.