After a thrilling week of tennis at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships, just two women remain in contention for the title. Both have been in excellent form all week and the final should offer plenty of entertainment as a result. But who will claim the first WTA 1000 trophy of the season?
WTA Dubai Tennis Championships Final Prediction
Garbine Muguruza vs Barbora Krejcikova
Head-to-head: first meeting
Garbine Muguruza has looked very sharp in the early weeks of 2021. The Spaniard started her season by reaching the third round in Abu Dhabi and she backed that up with a run to the final at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic, before reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open. She then reached another final at the WTA Qatar Open, but turned in a disappointing performance there, losing 2-6 2-6 to Petra Kvitova. However, she has recovered from that disappointment in impressive fashion in Dubai.
The Spaniard opened her campaign with a 6-3 7-5 win over Irina-Camelia Begu. Further straight-sets wins over Amanda Anisimova and Iga Swiatek saw Muguruza into the quarterfinals, where she found herself up against Aryna Sabalenka for the second time in as many weeks. And, just as she did in Doha, she got the better of the Belarusian in three sets. Then, in the semifinals, she edged out Elise Mertens 6-4 7-6 to secure her spot in her third final of the season.
Barbora Krejcikova did not arrive at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships in such good form, but it has been an undeniably impressive start to the season for the Czech. Still, even Krejcikova could surely not have predicted quite how well she has played so far in the UAE. She has beaten Maria Sakkari, Jelena Ostapenko, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Potapova and Jil Teichmann, all without losing more than a handful of games.
However, she can expect significantly more determined resistance from Muguruza. The former-world #1’s ability to take the ball down the line early in the rally off both the forehand and backhand side makes her a very dangerous proposition on fast hard courts and it is hard to see Krejcikova winning this match if it turns into a baseline battle. As a result, the Czech would do well to look to her variety and well-timed forays to the net to keep Muguruza off-balance.
But with Muguruza hitting the ball so cleanly, that will be easier said than done for Krejcikova. It will also be interesting to see how well she copes with the occasion. She will surely be helped by her considerable experience on the doubles court, with Krejcikova a former-world #1 in that discipline, but there is no disguising the fact that this is the biggest singles match of her career by a distance. And, unfortunately, any chink in her armour will almost certainly be exploited by Muguruza.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3
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