12 Dec WTA W100+H Dubai: Katerina Siniakova and Sorana Cirstea reach title match
12 Dec 2020
The 23rd Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge in Dubai is the last notable women’s tournament of the year, gathering a solid field of players who are also using this event as the pre-season preparations ahead of the new season.
Katerina Siniakova and Sorana Cirstea scored the semi-final victories and will fight for the title on Saturday, spending five hours on the court combined to oust their opponents. The 5th seed Katerina Siniakova defeated a qualifier Elena Gabriela Ruse 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes for the season’s best result following three straight losses in Paris, Ostrava and Linz.
The Czech won nine points more than the Romanian, fending off nine out of 13 break chances and converting seven out of nine opportunities on the return to prevail and cross the finish line first. Ruse held at love in the opener’s fifth game to move 3-2 in front before Siniakova took charge and rattled off four straight games to claim the set 6-3.
The Czech earned breaks in games seven and nine to wrap up the first part of the encounter, hoping for more in the rest of the clash. The second set saw four straight breaks in the early stages, with both players serving well in the remaining games to set up a tie break, a must-win one for the Romanian.
Katerina Siniakova and Sorana Cirstea are the finalists in Dubai.
Elena Gabriela played it on a high level, took all the initial shot points and grabbed three mini-breaks for 7-2. Nothing could separate them in the opening eight games of the decider, opening it with back-to-back breaks, delivering four good holds and staying on level terms following two more breaks in games seven and eight.
Siniakova wasted her opportunities on serve in game eight, leaving it behind and scoring a break at love in game nine to open a 5-4 advantage before sealing the deal a few minutes later to book a place in the final. Playing his best tournament since September 2019, Sorana Cirstea defeated the 2nd seed Polona Hercog 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 27 minutes.
Cirstea won five points more, secured four breaks and lost serve thrice to cross the finish line and reach the title match. The Romanian made a strong start, opening a 5-2 advantage and serving for the set at 5-3. Hercog broke back in the last moment to extend the set, only to waste two break chances at 5-5 and suffer a break in game 12 to hand the set to Sorana.
The Slovenian grabbed two breaks in set number two, fending off a break chance in the tenth game and closing it three points later for 6-4 and a decider. Nothing could separate them in the first 11 games of the final set before Sorana grabbed a break at 15 at 65 to seal the deal and advance into the final.