Qualifier Anna Kalinskaya stunned World No.1 Iga Swiatek in Friday’s semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, 6-4, 6-4, snapping the World No.1’s seven-match winning streak and advancing to her first Hologic WTA Tour-level singles final.

The loss is just Swiatek’s second in her last 26 matches dating back to last September’s WTA 500 event in Tokyo. At World No.40, Kalinskaya, meanwhile, is the sixth-lowest ranked player to ever make the final in Dubai in its two-plus decade history, and is the first qualifier to reach the final at the tournament.

She’ll face World No.26 Jasmine Paolini of Italy in Sunday’s final in an all-unseeded affair — the first all-unseeded final at WTA 1000 level since two former Top 10 players, Caroline Garcia and Petra Kvitova, dueled in the championship match in Cincinnati in 2022. It will be the fourth all-unseeded final in tournament history, all of which have come in the last decade: Venus Williams vs. Alize Cornet (2014), Sara Errani vs. Barbora Strycova (2016) and Jelena Ostapenko vs Veronika Kudermetova (2022).

Turning point: Kalinskaya won 10 of the last 14 games to score the upset, as she came from a break down in the first set. Swiatek broke first to build a 4-2 lead in the opening set, at one point posting a remarkably clean 11-1 ratio of winners to unforced errors. But as Kalinskaya stayed solid from the baseline, Swiatek’s errors began to mount. Kalinskaya broke back immediately to get back on serve.

Serving at 4-4, 30-all, Swiatek struck a backhand long and a forehand wide to hand Kalinskaya a second straight break and a chance to serve out the first set. Kalinskaya, who notched her first career Top 5 win one round earlier over Coco Gauff, was unphased by the chance to hand the Pole her first loss of a set in the tournament. On set point at 40-30, Swiatek misfired on another forehand and Kalinskaya completed her comeback to take the lead after 52 minutes.

Swiatek’s consistency continued to waver in the second set, affording Kalinskaya the opportunity to break twice more, and lead 6-4, 5-2. She never faced a break point in the second set until she failed to serve out victory at that juncture — Swiatek saved two match points at 40-15 in the eighth game — but didn’t falter in the second attempt. Swiatek had an opportunity to break again for 5-5, but another forehand miss — just wide, to the open court — denied the World No.1 to get back even.

Read on for more stats from Kalinskaya’s upset victory:

1: Kalinskaya was previously 0-2 in WTA semifinals in her career, having lost in that round in Washington, D.C. in 2019 and in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2022.

2: The fourth qualifier to ever reach the semifinals in Dubai, Kalinskaya is the second to ever reach any WTA 1000 final. Former World No.4 Garcia was a qualifier at that aforementioned Cincinnati tournament in 2022, a title she eventually won.

3: The win over Swiatek is Kalinskaya’s first over a World No.1, but it’s her third Top 10 win this week after she beat Jelena Ostapenko in the third round and Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals. The 25-year-old now boasts seven career Top 10 wins in all, and ironically enough, her win over top-ranked Swiatek’s is her first-ever against a player from Poland at tour level.

1,506: Kalinskaya is the first qualifier to defeat the World No.1 in more than 1,500 days: when Jennifer Brady beat Ashleigh Barty at the Brisbane International in 2020. The World No.1 won the last 21 such matches.

7: While she snapped Doha champion Swiatek’s seven-match winning streak in the Middle East, Kalinskaya has now recorded seven wins this week alone. She won two matches in qualifying against Rebeka Masarova and Kamilla Rakhimova to reach the main draw.

14: Swiatek hadn’t lost a set in the Middle East this year, and her loss to Kalinskaya is her first straight-sets defeat to anyone in nearly 12 full months: Elena Rybakina beat her 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open last March.

7:43: Kalinskaya’s win over Swiatek lasted 1 hour and 42 minutes, bringing her total time on court in main-draw matches this week to 7 hours and 43 minutes.

1-1: Kalinskaya and Paolini have split two previous meetings, and they’ll be playing for the second time in the span of four weeks. On Jan. 22, Kalinskaya was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over No.26 seed Paolini in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Source: https://www.wtatennis.com/news/3908001/by-the-numbers-kalinskaya-snaps-swiatek-s-win-streak-to-reach-dubai-final

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