Elina Svitolina claims WTA Dubai title over Caroline Wozniacki

The women’s tennis event in WTA Dubai ended on Saturday with Svitolina remaining hot on tour.

Elina Svitolina has had just one mediocre result in her season-to-date on the WTA Tour and unfortunately for her it came in the biggest tournament. Svitolina lost early in Melbourne Park, but she has otherwise been a force on the women’s tour. She made the Brisbane semifinals, she won Taipei City, she won two Fed Cup matches, and now the Ukrainian has her second title of the season after defeating Caroline Wozniacki in straights in the Dubai final 6-4, 6-2.

It marks the second straight tournament that the Dane has lost in a final, having lost in Doha last week to Karolina Pliskova. Wozniacki will certainly be disappointed to have lost two straight finals, but the former World No. 1 also has a lot to be proud of right now. She didn’t have a bye in either Doha or Dubai, she had no rest between tournaments, and yet she was able to grind out a record of 9-2 in the two weeks combined. For her efforts, Wozniacki will inch a little closer to getting back to the top ten on Monday as she looks to be the World No. 14.

But the woman of the moment is certainly Svitolina. The Ukrainian will budge Johanna Konta out of the top ten on the women’s tour with the title and earn a new career-high ranking on Monday. Svitolina did not do well in Indian Wells, Miami, or during the 2016 clay-court season. If she is able to retain her distinguished form in the months ahead then she may yet move well up the top ten. In fact following the Dubai title she has to have ambitions of even making the top five before season’s end. If things go very well for her it’s possible that she might even get that high before Wimbledon.

Svitolina, who is the 2nd best player on year-to-date rankings, is actually in the Kuala Lumpur draw this upcoming week where she is top seeded. It may be tough to her to recover from her efforts in Dubai as quickly as needed to challenge for the title in that quickly-approaching event. However, she looks like an important player for the American hard-court swing that is coming up and for the balance of the season.

Shane Lambert