The Czech world number 30 will face Iga Swiatek in the final in Dubai on Saturday
Barbora Krejcikova hit back in her semifinal victory. — Photo by Shihab
It was Jessica Pegula’s birthday on Friday, but Barbora Krejcikova didn’t bring any presents to Center Court.
The Czech world number 30 knocked out a seed for the fourth night in a row at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as she knocked out No. 7 Daria Kasatkina on opening night, followed by No. 12 Petra Kvitova, then No. 2 seed and defending Australian Open champion Alina Sabalenka on Thursday.
Pegula, the 29-year-old No. 3 seed, was not her usual pursuit of the ball despite a serious left thigh injury.
Krejcikova took full advantage of her opponent’s situation and played her second final in Dubai (losing to Garbine Muguruza in 2021), where she will face world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Beating a rampant Swiatek in women’s tennis seems like an impossible task at the moment, but if Krejcikova wins the final, she could become the first woman since Belinda Bencic to beat four former players in a single WTA 1000 match. 10 rival players for her in 2019.
However, the Czech star is one of the few players who has managed to beat Swiatek in recent times.
She beat the five-time WTA 1000 champion 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3 to beat the five-time WTA 1000 champion’s 10-game winning streak in the final in Ostrava last October. She did lose her first two fights in Miami and Rome (both in 2021).
“I’m definitely not going to tell you what I’m going to do tomorrow, or how I beat her in Ostrava,” Krejcikova laughs.
“I have to say, it’s always a big challenge and I like a challenge. I expected it to be very difficult because she’s in great shape. But I’m sure I’m also playing really well. I think I can find someone who can make the She backed down on the plan. I believe I have a chance.”
In the semi-finals, she added: “That match was really tough. Even though the first set really went my way, I think she’ll improve her game, she’ll start to play better. She Did it. She started serving better. The match started very close.
“Unfortunately, even though I didn’t make it in the second quarter, I think I still had a great chance in the third.”