The repeat of the 2016 US Open quarterfinal saw Caroline Wozniacki producing the same result once again, defeating Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets. However, this time the match was much closer, with Sevastova being the better player at some points of time. Nevertheless, Wozniacki managed to power her way through to the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, her second consecutive final.
Wozniacki takes the sole break point in the first set
Wozniacki came into the match firing, holding serve in the opening game of the match to have the perfect start and get off on a positive note. Just in the second point of this match, Wozniacki hit some consistent and accurate backhands to win the point, showing no signs of fatigue that could have possibly been accumulated from the past two weeks in Middle East where she also reached the final at the Qatar Total Open, losing to Karolina Pliskova in the final there.
A service break looked to be far in our sights as both players were unusually solid in their service games, with a string of service holds to start the match with. There was another excellent point played soon later, but this time it was a booming forehand down the line winner by Sevastova in the first point of the fourth game.
Just when Wozniacki got within a point to getting to deuce in the Latvian’s service game, Sevastova hit a perfect well-disguised drop shot to seal up the service hold and prevent Wozniacki to have any chances of breaking serve. The first break point of the match finally arrived upon us in the eighth game as Wozniacki managed to step up her return game, getting the first breakthrough of the evening and earning the chance to serve out the first set.
The former world number one did just so, successfully serving out the match comfortably as she blanked out Sevastova in her service game once again, taking the first set after just 37 minutes.
Sevastova fights back, but it was not enough
The 2016 US Open quarterfinalist made a spirited start to the second set as she managed to carve out a narrow hold of service, holding on to her service game. The second point of the set saw the Latvian hit a wonderful passing forehand down the line winner, leaving Wozniacki shell-shocked. Sevastova then looked on course for her first break of serve in the evening as she got to 30-30 in the following game, before Wozniacki maintained her composure to have the service hold, remaining on serve in the set.
This time, the first service break of the set came much sooner in the fifth game, with Wozniacki coming from 30-15 down to make the first breakthrough once again, taking a lead of a set and a break. Fending off three consecutive break points from 0-40 down just in the next game, Wozniacki showed nerves of steel to hold onto her service game and consolidate the break of serve, extending her lead to two games and looked to close out the match soon.
However, Sevastova finally had her first break of serve in the match as she looked to make a spirited comeback after she broke back in the eighth game to return level in the set, increasing her chances to send the match into a deciding set.
Nevertheless, the Dane did not seem to let the loss of the lead affect her as she maintained her composure and got back the momentum, making an immediate reply by breaking back and had the golden opportunity to serve out the match. Despite facing some troubles, Wozniacki eventually closed out the match successfully after just 1 hour and 28 minutes, sealing her place in the finals.