Dubai 2019: Former champion Petra Kvitova will face unseeded Belinda Bencic


Belinda Bencic made another late winning charge over a Top 10 opponent on Friday to set up a Dubai Championships final against Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova will play Switzerland's unseeded Belinda Bencic, who surprisingly beat Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), in Saturday's final.

"I think I'm pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was calmer when I came back and played from the beginning of the second set".

Meanwhile, Hsieh Su-wei won the last six games to beat fourth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 and will next face a woman she has never beaten-two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova did not drop a set on her way to the Australian Open final last month, and she followed her success over Bencic with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of American teen Amanda Anisimova, who later posted a message on her Instagram saying she given "a lesson" on court that day from the Czech lefty.

When Petra Kvitova is told that it's still February yet she has already reached three finals in 2019, the Czech world No. 3 smiles and simply says: "That's nice". I didn't give her any free points. It was a tough first set. It's been tough since I came from Australia and St. Petersburg.

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"I wish I could play better", said a crestfallen Svitolina.

"I still kind of felt that I can do that somehow". Kvitova, the 2013 Dubai champion, needed just 62 minutes to wrap up the win.

The Ukrainian, who won the last two editions of the Dubai tournament, did not give up without a fight, breaking Bencic early before running away with the second set to force a decider. "In the end, she was a little bit stronger".

Of her sparkling form so far this year she said: "It's a bit weird, to be honest". The Swiss has finally managed to recover her condition after the struggle with her back and the wrist operation. "It's not really that easy to make those winners against her".

Bencic was coming off a come-from-behind victory over sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina, the two-time defending champion, in the semifinals. I think I'm pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was more calmer when I come back and play from the beginning of the second set I'm a bit exhausted right now, to be honest. For me, everything is just bonus.

There will be no three-peat for Elina Svitolina in Dubai. I think I did the right thing.