World No. 1 Swiatek Stunned By Qualifier Kalinskaya In Dubai Semifinals

World No. 1 Swiatek Stunned By Qualifier Kalinskaya In Dubai Semifinals

by Zachary Wimer

After going all the way in Doha last week, Iga Swiatek failed to get to the final at the 2024 Dubai Championships, getting stunned by qualifier Anna Kalinskaya.

This was a very weird matchup because even though Swiatek's struggle wasn't that surprising, the way she struggled was atypical. Kalinskaya is a solid player who has the talent to really make a good run but never found herself actually making it.

Swiatek played in the final in Dubai last year, so it's not that surprising to see her in another semi-final, especially after winning the Qatar Open in Doha. The opening set started with both being quite shaky as they both had to save early break points.

Swiatek would then break for a 4-2 lead, but that would be the last game she would win in the opening set as she lost four games in a row after that to lose the opening set 4-6.

She just never quite found a good and, more importantly, consistent level. Kalinskaya did play well, especially from the baseline, but the most important thing was being stable.

She didn't give away too many points, especially not the way the Polish player did. The second set started with an early break for Kalinskaya as Swiatek kept struggling.

She struggled even more as the match went on. She couldn't return the service as well as she wanted to. She was spraying a lot of unforced errors for much of this match, including this second set.

Swiatek would find some late inspiration to make a push at the end, but it wasn't quite enough, and Kalinskaya was able to finish it off, winning the match 6-4, 6-4.

It was quite a stunning win for the Russian who moves on to the final to face Jasmine Paolini, who is another surprising finalist at the WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai.


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