Svitolina on the verge of Dubai title

Elina Svitolina defeated Angelique Kerber to reach the final of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday.

The Ukrainian defeated Kerber for the fifth consecutive match on the hard courts of Dubai, rolling over the former world number one 6-3, 6-3.

After a flurry of breaks in the opening set saw Svitolina go 3-2, after which she finally consolidated the break and served her way through the set. 

In the second, there was a mammoth third game that included six deuces, which Kerber won to go 2-1 up. But Svitolina showed steely resolve to break back and reel off four consecutive games on her way to winning the match.

"I'm happy that it was in two sets because before we had such a tough battles,” quipped the 23-year-old on court afterwards. 

"Physically, it was very tough. I was really pleased the way I was playing the tough moments. There were one, two points that decided the first set, and the second set, also [where I] came back into the match.

"There was couple of points that I was really happy the way I handle it."

The world number four will be hunting down her 11th WTA title against the unseeded Daria Kasatkina, who upset second seed Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 7-6(11), 6-1 in an epic encounter earlier in the day.

The Russian would save no less than three match points in a tumultuous second set that lasted 90 minute alone.