Elina Svitolina took home the biggest title of her career at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and is set to make her Top 10 debut after defeating Caroline Wozniacki.
WTA Staff

DUBAI, UAE - No.7 seed Elina Svitolina took home her second title of 2017 - and the biggest one of her career - at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after defeating 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.

Playing in her first Premier 5 final, Svitolina showed no sign of nerves as she outhit the former World No.1 to claim the victory 6-4, 6-2 after an hour and 10 minutes.

"It's very special for me [to win such a big tournament]," Svitolina said in her on-court interview. "I've played very amazing tennis this week and I'm happy it happened in Dubai.

"It's the first trophy for me at such a big tournament, so it's very special for me."

With the title, Svitolina will rise from WTA No.13 to No.10, making her the 120th player to make her Top 10 debut since the WTA Rankings were introduced on November 3, 1975.

"I've dreamed for all my life to be in Top 10. It's a very amazing feeling to enter Top 10, and do it by winning the tournament! I'm very excited for the season and very excited I could win this tournament."

The 22-year-old Ukrainian entered the matchup against Wozniacki with a 1-0 lead in the pair's head-to-head record, with their only meeting coming last year in Miami where Svitolina came within two points of defeat before winning 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(1).

This time in Dubai, it was a more comprehensive affair, with Svitolina injecting pace into her groundstrokes to break down Wozniacki's rock-solid defense.

A pair of inch-perfect passing shots left Wozniacki wrong-footed and gave Svitolina the lone break in the first set at 3-2. But the Dane refused to fade away, batting away a pair of Svitolina set points at 5-4 with some bold tennis - including a second-serve ace - to force the Ukrainian to serve it out.

Wozniacki let three break points slip by that would have leveled the score, and instead Svitolina held serve from 0-40 down to take the opening set.

Svitolina continued her momentum into the final set; after trading breaks to start, Svitolina played more aggressive to chip away at Wozniacki's defense as the Dane's unforced error count continued to build. Svitolina rattled off the last five games in a row to close out the match and biggest title of her career.

Despite the disappointing loss, Wozniacki is taking away positive signs from her Middle East fortnight, which saw her reach back-to-back finals.

"It's been a good two weeks for me - two finals, lots of matches," Wozniacki said in her on-court interview. "Making another final here [in Dubai] is definitely great, and I'm already excited to be back."

Another piece of good news for Wozniacki? The Dane is inching closer to her return to the WTA Top 10: with her run to the final she'll move to No.14, and is defending just 145 points until the US Open.