The top two seeds, Elina Svitolina and Garbine Muguruza, both advanced to the Dubai semifinals on Thursday. Svitolina stormed past Naomi Osaka 6-2, 6-4 while Muguruza eased past Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-2.
“I’m very pleased,” the Spaniard said. “It’s very tough to play the same opponents all the time, and I’m happy that I won again. Last week was three sets, and this time, I was able to win it in two.
“I think it was a very good match, especially the first set,” Muguruza added. “I felt that whoever could win it, would win the match.”
Muguruza will now face rising Russian Daria Kasatkina who ousted countrywoman Elina Vesnina 7-6(5), 6-1.
“I played once again Kasatkina before,” Muguruza said. “Very difficult match. I think she always plays very good against the top players. She has good wins.”
But the marquee match tomorrow will be a showdown between Svitolina and former No. 1 Angelique Kerber. Kerber toppled Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3.
Svitolina has won 6 of 7 against the German winning the last 4 including a victory in the Dubai semifinals last year.
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