Elina Svitolina conquered top seed angelique kerber for a third straight time - the second time in 2017 - to advance into the biggest final of her young career with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory at the dubai duty free tennis championship.
Svitolina kicked off the season by knocking out Kerber, then No.1, at the Brisbane international, but pulled off a hat trick of wins over the two-time Grand Slam champion on Friday, overcoming a rain delay and a late surge from an experienced - if slightly hampered - opponent to advance after one hour and 39 minutes of play.
"It was really tough," she said during her on-court interview. "[Kerber] obviously had a medical timeout, so it was in and out all the time. The rain made it even tougher to stay focused, so it was a very tricky match. Hopefully Angelique has nothing serious with her knee and gets better soon."