WTA Dubai: Daria Kasatkina stuns Garbiñe Muguruza in marathon thriller

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Dubai's defending tennis champion Elina Svitolina will face Australian Open semi-finalist Angelique Kerber in the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free (DDF) Tennis Championships to be held on Friday.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza beat France's Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-2 in the Dubai Tennis Championships, advancing to the semifinals. "I'm very happy that I saved little bit more energy for my next opponent", she said. "I was very happy with the way I played in the top moments".

The top-seeded Svitolina had to save two break points in her first service game but then cruised through the rest of the opening set in 27 minutes.

"It was a tricky match, especially because she was playing well", Kerber said after taking the win over Errani on a secondary showcourt at the Aviation Club.

"I felt much better this match than the match we played in Doha".

The two-time Grand Slam victor is seeking her first title since Cincinnati in August past year and was next due to face Daria Kasatkina, a victor over fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 7-6 (7/5), 6-1. I think she has a good fitness to be able to run a lot.

Kerber improved her record over Pliskova to 7-3 after winning five of their last six matches against her fellow former WTA number one.

In yesterday's first doubles semi-final, Taiwan's Chan Hao-ching and Yang Zhaoxuan of China defeated Alicja Rosolska of Poland and Abigail Spears of the U.S. 6-4, 7-5 in 1 hour, 29 minutes to advance to today's final. Digging deep, Osaka forced a tie-break which she won 7-5 to secure victory.

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Pliskova was playing her first Dubai quarter-final since finishing runner-up three years ago.

"Against Pliskova, it's always a tough match", Kerber said.

She entered this match with a 2-1 deficit against Osaka, including losses in their previous two matches.

She returned for the early evening session to put in a strong performance in the opening set against the charismatic French player, No4 seed Caroline Garcia.

Muguruza, chasing her first title since Cincinnati last August, won 13 points in a row on her way to bringing up a 4-1 as she closed in on victory in a match which was twice interrupted by rain.

"It's tough. I was thinking about going straight to breakfast after I finished last night's match!"

"I know how to play on the centre court". "Her best tennis comes when she's about to lose, I feel".

"I don't know. Actually few times I beat No. 1 in the world. But I will try to be ready and, yeah, just take the next opponent on".