World No. 26 Paolini Sensationally Wins Maiden WTA 1000 Title In Dubai

World No. 26 Paolini Sensationally Wins Maiden WTA 1000 Title In Dubai

by Zachary Wimer

Last updated

Jasmine Paolini won her first WTA 1000 title after beating Anna Kalinskaya in the 2024 Dubai Championships final.

The Russian, who sensationally made the final, has always had the potential for amazing results but never quite found herself to be healthy enough. She's dealt with a lot of injuries over the years, which unfortunately derailed a pretty promising career.

She's healthy in 2024, and this run is the result of that. In her solid win over Iga Swiatek, she showcased how good she could be, and she brought some of that also in the final of the tournament.

The opponent was atypical - Jasmine Paolini. The Italian is a very solid player, though probably not one many would expect in such a final, but she certainly earned her place.

She was a bit lucky with the draw and Elena Rybakina's withdrawal, but she also showed some inspired play and deserved her spot in the final.

The problem for Paolini in this final was never her level or baseline play - it was the serve. In this modern era of aggressive tennis, a weak serve is a death sentence, and that is a major problem.

Kalinskaya attacked both the first and second serve for the entirety of the match, and it proved a very effective tactic. Despite being able to break her opponent several times, Paolini was broken multiple times as well.

She simply couldn't find a way to win her service games consistently. Even during the second set surge, where she broke back and eventually won the set, Paolini didn't quite look comfortable on her own serve.

The moment Kalinskaya calmed down was when she went ahead again. She broke early in the final set and served to win the match and the tournament, but she couldn't finish things off.

Instead, Paolini played incredibly inspired last three games to push to the finish line and win the match 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 and lift her first WTA 1000 title.

As a result of their runs, both players will record new career highs in the WTA Rankings on Monday. Kalinskaya will be 24th, and Paolini will be even higher in 14th place.


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