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Iga Swiatek knocked out by qualifier Anna Kalinskaya in Dubai semi-final

Unseeded Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya recorded a 6-4, 6-4 win over top-seeded Iga Swiatek on Friday to advance to the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Kalinskaya won 10 of the final 14 games and overcame five aces by Swiatek to dispatch the Poland native in one hour, 41 minutes.

The 25-year-old Kalinskaya will join Italy’s Jasmine Paolini in vying for their first WTA 1000 title when the two meet on Saturday. Paolini posted a 6-2, 7-6 (6) win over Sorana Cirstea of Romania. Kalinskaya and Paolini each hold a victory over the other, with the former recording a 6-4, 6-2 win over the latter in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January.

Kalinskaya has enjoyed a week to remember, including winning two matches in qualifying just to reach the main draw. She later toppled top-10 players Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the third round and Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals before beating Swiatek in the semis.

“She’s a great player. I know if I don’t stay calm and aggressive she’s going to destroy me,” Kalinskaya said in her on-court interview about Swiatek. “That was my plan. To stay aggressive, move her a lot. I’m happy I won. She’s unbelievable. I’m happy I had the chance to play against her. I’m sure we’ll play a lot in the future.”

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As for Paolini, 28, she saved six set points en route to ousting Cirstea in one hour, 57 minutes. “I gave you a little bit of drama at the end of the match,” Paolini said.

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