Sevastova first player to reach Dubai semi-finals

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After losing in the qualifying rounds in 2016 the Latvian is now just two matches away from claiming her first title since 2010.

Wang, who is the first Chinese player to advance to the quarter-finals since Li Na in 2010, fought off two break points in the opening game and then broke to love to lead 3-1.

She was, however, unable to maintain her advantage as Sevastova immediately broke back and then broke again to lead 5-4 before serving out for the set.

Sevastova continued to hold the upper hand in the second set, breaking to lead 2-1, and although she failed to serve out for the match at 5-4 she broke again for 6-5 and this time finished the job to win 6-4 7-5.

“I think I mixed up pretty well against her,” said Sevastova, who last season at the US Open became the first player from her country to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam since Larisa Neiland contested the Wimbledon quarters in 1994.

“I mean, she’s very solid. She started very well, but I got into my game. I started mixing it up with some stops, some lobs, just not giving her this rhythm, like every time hitting cross, cross, cross. And I think that was the key. Yeah, I returned pretty well too, I think.”

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Reem's Dubai diary: Bellis to hit UAE malls, slopes and dunes after DDF run

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Cici Bellis (Photo via DDF Tennis)

American teenager Cici Bellis certainly picked the right tournament to post the best result of her career so far.

The 17-year-old’s first top-10 victory that came against world No6 Agnieszka Radwanska last night saw her reach the quarter-finals at Premier 5 event for the first time.

Along with the 190 points she collects for making the last-eight, Bellis has pocketed $56,115 for efforts so far this week and she is looking to treat herself when the tournament is over.

“I really love travelling, and Dubai has been definitely one of my favourite places I have been so far,” said Bellis. “I have never been anywhere around here. So I have really loved it so far.

“Everything is just perfect. I feel like everything is so nice. I went to the mall before the tournament, and it was so amazing. I’m planning on doing one of those camel rides after the tournament and a few other things if we get the time. “I think there is ice-skating there (at the mall), too. Definitely going to do that.

“I think I heard at a different mall there is skiing. I’m doing that, for sure, for sure. We are staying an extra day, staying an extra day just to do the malls and the camels and everything. Pack it all into one day.”

I’ve always liked a girl with a plan. Her agent might want to steer her away from the indoor skiing expedition at Mall of the Emirates though. No need for an unnecessary injury.

KERBER’S A DUBAI FAN

Bellis is not the only player to enjoy some extra-curricular activities in Dubai. While the players are staying at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, which is attached to the Aviation Club where the matches are played, Angelique Kerber was able to step away from site a few times.

“Of course it’s different (staying at an on-site hotel), but I take my time to get out. I mean, we went to the Dinner in the Sky, went to Dubai Mall once. I need my time off,” said the top seed.

“So at the end it’s nice that the hotel is here. We just can go to the room. We have everything onsite so I like it, actually.”

Asked what she liked about Dubai, Kerber added: “Everything. I think you can do everything here. I mean, yeah, this is a city where, yeah, whatever you want you can do it here. Normally the weather is nice here, so that’s why I like Dubai, as well. It’s a little bit different this year, but yeah, I like the people. I like to being here.”

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IN PICS: All 25 Dubai Duty Free winners

Sport360 staff 22/02/2017

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has been held every year since 1993 and in 2017, it will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary.

The Championship has gone from strength to strength and made every year a special one for the fans.

Here, we bring you the Men’s winners from each year.

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal all feature in the list.

1993 – Karel Novacek

Czech Karel Nováček defeated France international Fabrice Santoro 6–4, 7–5 to win the inaugural Dubai Duty Free Tennis Men’s Singles Championship.

1994 – Magnus Gustaffson

Sweden’s Magnus Gustaffson put on a show to take home the title with 6-4, 6-2 set wins against Spain’s Sergi Bruguera.

1995 – Wayne Ferreira

South Africa’s Wayne Ferreira took the Mens singles title, with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Italy’s Andrea Gaudenzi.

1996 – Goran Ivanisevic

Croatian Goran Ivanisevic beat Albert Costa 6-4, 6-3 ton clinch the fourth Dubai Duty Championship crown.

1997 – Thomas Muster

Thomas Muster, who was also known as the ‘King of Clay’ beat last year’s winner Goran Ivanišević, 7-5, 7-6 to take home the title.

1998 – Alex Corretja

It was Alex Corretja who became the first Spaniard ton win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, defeating Felix Mantilla 7-6, 6-1.

1999 – Jerome Golmard

France’s Jerome Golmard reigned supreme in a 6-4, 6-2 win over Nicolas Kiefer in the finals.

2000 – Nicolas Kiefer

Nicolas Kiefer denied the odds this year to seal a three-set thriller over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

2001 – Juan Carlos Ferrero

Juan Carlos Ferrero didn’t get demoralised by last year’s final loss and bounced back to defeat Marat Safin 6-2, 3-1 (retired).

2002 – Fabrice Santoro

A three set game in the final saw Fabrice Santoro defeat Younes El Aynaoui. It ended 6–4, 3–6, 6–3 in Santoro’s favour.

2003 – Roger Federer

Roger Federer won the first of his Dubai Duty Free Championship, defeating Jiri Novak 6-1, 7-6 in straight sets.

2004 – Roger Federer

Federer successfully defended his title with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Feliciano López, in the finals.

2005 – Roger Federer

A hat-trick of Dubai Duty Free Championship titles, as he beat Ivan Ljubicic in a three-setter.

2006 – Rafael Nadal

Spaniard Rafael Nadal claimed a 2–6, 6–4, 6–4 victory over Federer in the finals.

2007 – Roger Federer

Federer was back to winning ways at Dubai Duty Free with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Mikhail Youzhny in the finals.

2008 –  Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick emerged victorious in 2008 with 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 win in the finals against Feliciano López.

2009 – Novak Djokovic

The Serbian international won his first Dubai crown with a win over David Ferrer in straight sets.

2010 – Novak Djokovic

Djokovic won his second Dubai title and retained his crown with a final win over Mikhail Youzhny.

2011 – Novak Djokovic

Djokovic reigned supreme over maestro Roger Federer with a 6–3, 6–3 win to make it a hat-trick.

2012 – Roger Federer

Defeating Andy Murray in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4 saw Federer reach his fifth Dubai Duty Free title.

2013 – Novak Djokovic

A 7-5, 6-3 win in the finals against Tomas Berdych gave Novak Djokovic another victory at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

2014 – Roger Federer

Although Berdych gave him a tough fight, Federer couldn’t be stopped from getting his sixth Dubai Duty Free Title.

2015 – Roger Federer

His seventh Dubai Duty Free Championship win, almost surreal, but Federer defeated Djokovic 6–3, 7–5 in the final.

2016 – Stan Wawrinka

Swiss international Stanislas Wawrinka beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 7-6 to win the last edition.

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