Kerber downed by Svitolina in Dubai

Top seed Angelique Kerber is out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, beaten in straight sets by Elina Svitolina in Friday's semi-finals.

The German has been struggling for form of late, and while a semi-final showing in Dubai is an improvement over recent results, she would have been hoping for a lot more from her match against Svitolina.

The seventh-seeded Ukranian secured a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) victory in one hour and 43 minutes, though the scoreline did not tell the whole story.

There were no less than 12 breaks of serve during the topsy-turvy encounter, with Svitolina dominating the first set with three breaks to one before Kerber started firing back strongly in the second.

Both players broke serve four times during the second set, frequently failing to consolidate any advantage they carved out, although it was Svitolina who held her nerve to to convert match point in the ensuing tiebreak.

Svitolina moves on to face Carolina Wozniacki, who qualified for her second straight WTA final by beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-4.

The Dane's victory was far more straightforward than Svitolina's, as she stayed mostly solid on serve and converted three break points.

Like Svitolina, Wozniacki had to overcome several rain delays during the match, but it did not unsettle her.

"I'm kind of used to the rain by now; for the last two weeks it's been on and off, but I thought we played good quality tennis so I'm extremely happy to be through," she said.

"It's been a good couple of weeks for me," said Wozniacki, who also reached the final of last week's Qatar Open. "Very happy with how I have been playing. Very happy how I have managed to get through these two weeks, because it's been very tiring mentally. The fact that I have just been staying in there and keep grinding, I'm kind of proud of that."