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Ostapenko saves match point to beat Kvitova in Dubai epic, returns to Top 20
The former Roland-Garros champion is starting to show some of the consistency she has been missing in recent years
Jelena Ostapenko is the very definition of a mercurial player. The version of the Latvian on court at the moment is the determined battler with the heart of a champion.
And in the quarter-finals in Dubai, she came up against another woman who fits that description – Czech Petra Kvitova. The two fought it out for two hours and 39 minutes, which included a gruelling third-set tiebreak – but the younger woman came out on top, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(9).
It means that she will return to the WTA Top 20 when the next set of rankings are released, having reached the semi-finals or better in four of her last eight tournaments including this one – St Petersburg (lost in the semi-final to Anett Kontaveit), Indian Wells (lost in the semi-final to Victoria Azarenka), and Luxembourg (lost in the final to Clara Tauson).
The 24-year-old will next face Simona Halep, who dismissed eighth seed Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3.
In the other semi-final, Veronika Kudermetova will play Marketa Vondrousova.
Kudermetova beat Switzerland’s Jil Teichman 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, while Vondrousova beat Dayana Yastremska 7-5, 6-4.