Tennis-Paolini downs giant-slayer Kalinskaya to win Dubai Championships

  • Tennis
  • Sunday, 25 Feb 2024

Tennis - WTA 1000 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 24, 2024 Italy's Jasmine Paolini in action during the final against Russia's Anna Kalinskaya REUTERS/Rula Rouhana

DUBAI (Reuters) - Italian Jasmine Paolini fought back from a set down to beat qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 4-6 7-5 7-5 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday to secure her second WTA singles title.

Kalinskaya, the Australian Open quarter-finalist, had been on a giant-killing run in Dubai, having stunned world number one Iga Swiatek in the semi-finals after knocking out U.S. Open champion Coco Gauff and Jelena Ostapenko in the previous rounds.

The Russian took the opening set, but Paolini mounted a comeback and levelled the tie - only to then find herself in trouble in the decider as she slipped to within a game of defeat at 3-5.

But she kept her composure to seal the win, becoming only the fourth player in 24 years to win the final in Dubai after dropping the first set.

(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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