Iga Swiatek - Miami Open 2023

Iga Swiatek ‘angry’ after surprise defeat in Dubai Semi-finals

Iga Swiatek has been beaten by qualifier Anna Kalinskaya in the Dubai semi-finals, in the world No.1’s first straight sets defeat in 343 days.

Swiatek lead the Russian 4-2 in the first set, but was pegged back to be defeated, 4-6 4-6, in the second WTA 1000 event in the Middle East.

The last time that Swiatek was beaten in straight sets was in the Indian Wells semi-final last year, losing to eventual champion Elena Rybakina.

While the Pole praised her opponent, Swiatek admitted that she felt the loss was more about her own performance after spraying 18 unforced errors.

“Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” claimed Swiatek. “I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had.

“I would say the preparation was the best I could do anyway but I wasn’t able to make anything that made sense today on the court. Maybe I did in the first six games, but then it just [went wrong].”

Last week, Swiatek triumphed at the Qatar Open for a third consecutive year and the 22-year-old suggested that these back-to-back tournaments may have impacted her performance yesterday.

“I felt like I didn’t have any more power to give more, which doesn’t happen often,” said Swiatek. “I just felt a bit out of control because usually when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t.”

The four-time major winner continued, “Day by day, it was a little bit worse. I was not talking to you about it because it didn’t really make sense to go over it, but as I say it has been two weeks.

“I mean I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it.”

Swiatek will now turn her attention to the sunshine double of Indian Wells and the Miami Open, while Kalinskaya becomes the first qualifier in history to reach the final in Dubai.

Kalinskaya will play Jasmine Paolini later today, in the fourth unseeded final in Dubai Tennis Championships history.

The pair played each other at the most recent Australian Open, with Kalinskaya getting the better of her Italian opponent on that occasion.

Inside the baseline…

It was an extremely surprising and uncharacteristic defeat from Iga Swiatek, especially as she was up a break in that first set and is usually such a good frontrunner. However, it just continues what has been a great season so far for Anna Kalinskaya, having also achieved by far her best Grand Slam result in Melbourne last month. It looks set to be a very intriguing final, between two names that many people were not expecting to be at this stage when the draw was made.

READ NEXT – Dubai Tennis Championships 2024 Preview (ATP): When is it, who is playing and what is the prize money?

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.