Tennis: Ostapenko caps week to remember with Dubai title

Ostapenko (above) needed just 64 minutes to capture the fifth singles trophy of her career.

DUBAI (AFP) - Jelena Ostapenko capped a statement week in Dubai by lifting her first hard-court title since 2019 with a dominant 6-0, 6-4 victory over Veronika Kudermetova in the final on Saturday (Feb 19).

The former French Open champion needed just 64 minutes to overcome Russian world number 31 Kudermetova and capture the fifth singles trophy of her career.

It was a first meeting between the pair, and a first Dubai final between two unseeded players since 2016.

Ostapenko reached the final by taking out four Grand Slam champions - Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep - and having come back from a set down in her three previous matches.

The 24-year-old, who is set to return to the top 20 for the first time since 2018, seems to have recaptured the powerful and aggressive form that earned her a Roland Garros title four and a half years ago in Paris.

Kudermetova also had her fair share of big wins in the Emirates this week as she ousted defending champion and two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka on her way to her second final appearance of the season.

Ostapenko and Kudermetova also advanced to the doubles final in Dubai, marking the first time two players have squared off in both the singles and doubles title deciders at the same WTA tournament since Lugano in 2018.

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