Tennis: Svitolina breaks into top 10 with Dubai win

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in action against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in action against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.PHOTO: EPA

DUBAI (AFP) - Elina Svitolina beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 to win a rain-delayed final at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday (Feb 25) which sent her into the ranking top 10.

The Ukrainian cracked the elite on tenth position as she defeated 2011 champion Wozniacki, a former world number one seven years ago.

The winner claimed her sixth career trophy and second in a month after Taipei as she beat Wozniacki for the second time without a loss.

“This is very, very special for me, I played some amazing tennis this week,” Svitolina said. “This is my first trophy at such a big event.

“It was tough to play Caroline, she puts up such a fight and never stands back. I’m very proud of how I played today.” The winner was also thrilled to be breaking into the top strata of the rankings.

“It’s just an amazing feeling, to enter the top 10 – especially by winning such a tournament. I’m very excited for the season.”

Svitolina’s victory in a match which began two hours late due to rain marked the biggest of her career.

The Ukrainian spent 54 minutes in claiming the first set in a battle of long points, with Wozniacki saving two set points – one with a second-serve ace – before losing from a forehand long.

Svitolina took a 3-2 lead in the second set on a break, then reached 5-2 before drilling a forehand winner down the line for victory after less than 90 minutes.

Wozniacki was playing her second final in as many weeks after finishing runner-up in Doha to Karolina Pliskova.

“It’s been a good two weeks for me, playing two finals,” Wozniacki said. “This is a good sign for the rest of the season.”