Kvitova outlasts Hsieh, Bencic dumps out champion Svitolina

Elina Svitolina's reign as Dubai Tennis Championships queen is over as she lost to Belinda Bencic, who faces Petra Kvitova in the final.

Petra Kvitova in action in Dubai   -  Getty Images

Petra Kvitova fought back to end Hsieh Su-wei's dream run at the Dubai Tennis Championships to set up a final against another surprise package in Belinda Bencic, who usurped double-defending champion Elina Svitolina.

Second seed Kvitova found herself in trouble after losing the opening set of her semi-final against Hsieh, who was playing in the last four of a WTA Premier event for the first time.

But the Czech, a losing finalist at last month's Australian Open, dug deep into her sizeable reserves to secure a 3-6 6-2 6-4 victory.

Read: Halep takes positives despite Dubai defeat

Hsieh had done her part to neutralise her opponent's power game early doors and Kvitova was delighted she found the mental toughness to progress.

"It was a tough one for sure. She really didn't give me anything for free. It was a tough first set," said Kvitova, a champion in Dubai in 2013.

Belinda Bencic   -  Getty Images

 

"I'm glad that I was able to come back in the second. I didn't play great at the end of the first.

"I think I'm pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was calmer when I came back and played from the beginning of the second set.

"I still kind of felt that I can do that somehow. I don't know. It was something weird. It's not really happening often to me, but I headed there, and that's helped me a lot to kind of feel that I can do that, or I can battle to the third."

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Bencic is a former top-10 player but has struggled to replicate that form in the past couple of years.

However, the Swiss shocked former world number one Simona Halep to reach the semis and scored another upset with a 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-3) beating of sixth seed Elina Svitolina, champion in the past two years.

Bencic had to show all her resolve after fighting back from 5-3 down in the decider and seeing three match points go begging in a mammoth game 12, before dominating the breaker.

It marks Bencic's biggest final since she won the 2015 Rogers Cup, while she has now won three straight matches against top-10 players.