Krejcikova seals first Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open Tennis tournament, 2023,Thursday 9th February

Barbora Krejcikova capped a thrilling WTA 1000 week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a stunning victory over Iga Swiatek in Saturday night’s final at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.

Roared on by a packed Centre Court crowd, Krejcikova triumphed 6-4, 6-2 in just 91 minutes to seal her first Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title. Krejcikova’s brutal dismantling of Switeak, the World No.1 and top seed in Dubai, followed victories over World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and World No.3 Jessica Pegula enroute to the final.

The Czech, a defeated finalist in 2021, cut a delighted figure as she was presented with the event’s iconic silver dhow trophy to end a dramatic week of shocks, surprises and top-class tennis as Dubai rolled out the red carpet to mark 50 years of the WTA.

In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, the ceremony was attended by His Highness Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Tennis Federation; Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free; Nasser Youssef Al Marzouqi, General Secretary of the UAE Tennis Federation; Salah Tahlak, Joint COO of Dubai Duty Free and Tournament  Director of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships; and Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President Marketing of Dubai Duty Free.

“It was a great game, I played some of my best tennis and I am really happy with the result. I really admire Iga for what she has done and is doing in the game, I have so much respect for her – she is an inspiration. It was a great final and I’m definitely very happy with the result,” said Krejcikova after her straight sets win.

After struggling to contend with Krejcikova’s unwavering power and accuracy in a one-sided final, Swiatek was magnanimous in defeat, yet already relishing the pair’s next clash: “Congrats to Barbora. I am sure we are going to have many finals, but hopefully next time it’s going to go my way because the last two went for you,” said the Pole.

Earlier on Centre Court, Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova secured victory over Taiwanese duo Hao-Ching Chan and Latisha Chan in a pulsating Doubles final that thrilled the capacity crowd. Triumphing 6-4, 6-7, 10-1, big-serving Kudermetova and Samsonova survived losing a second set tiebreak to power home in the match tiebreak.

“It’s always nice to defend a title, especially here in Dubai which is a really big tournament, and especially with Liudmila. We just started to play together but we already feel a really good atmosphere in our team, and I really enjoy playing with her,” said Kudermetova, who won last year’s Doubles title with Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

“Congratulations to the 2023 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships winners, our Singles champion Barbora and our Doubles champions Veronika and Liudmila – truly worthy winners. Once again, Dubai has been treated to scintillating tennis this week and the players have demonstrated all the values our Championships and the WTA hold true,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free. “Thank you to all the players, officials and fans who have made this another memorable week – we look forward to seeing you all for ATP week.”

Salah Talak, joint COO of Dubai Duty Free, and Tournament Director of the Dubai Duty Free, added: “The two finals we have been treated to today were the culmination of another exceptional tournament week in Dubai. Great tennis, great weather, great fans, as well as a special celebration to mark 50 years of the WTA. It has been a tournament to remember, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2024 for the 24th edition of Dubai’s WTA event.”