Anna Kalinskaya snapped Iga Swiatek’s seven-match winning streak in shocking style at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, scoring the biggest win of her career, 6-4, 6-4 to reach her first WTA 1000 final.

"She's a great player. I knew if I didn't stay calm and I didn't stay aggressive, she was gonna destroy me!" Kalinskaya said on court after the match. "That was my plan: to stay aggressive, to move her a lot. I'm happy I won. She's unbelievable, and I'm happy I had the chance to play her. I'm sure we'll play a lot in the future."

A qualifier in Dubai, Kalinskaya backed up her victory over reigning US Open champion Coco Gauff, rallying from an early break deficit and held off a late surge to defeat the four-time major champ fresh off a victory at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open in one hour and 41 minutes on Center Court.

Awaiting her in the championship match will be another surprise as Jasmine Paolini completed a tight two-set victory over Sorana Cirstea to reach what is also the biggest final of her career. Kalinskaya and Paolini last met at the Australian Open in January, where the former won in straight sets.

"That was a difficult match," Kalinskaya said of the Italian. "She's a great player and she fights for every ball."

Kalinskaya has been one of the most in-form players of the season after ending 2023 on a high, reaching two finals and winning a title at back-to-back WTA 125k tournaments. The 25-year-old carried that momentum to Melbourne, where she defeated 2017 US Open champion en route to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open.

She rolled through the Dubai semis with the loss of just one set, planting No. 9 seed Jelena Ostapenko, 6-4, 7-5, before rallying from a set down to defeat Gauff in three.


"I'm super happy with my team. It's a pleasure to work with them, and I feel, physically, much better than last year. That gives me a lot of confidence to play at such a high level."

Facing Swiatek for the first time, Kalinskaya appeared overmatched on the outset against the top seed, who had gamely shaken off a third-round exit in Australia to rediscover her form in the Middle East. After scoring an impressive win over Elena Rybakina to win in Doha, she had made a seamless transition to Dubai against a squad of intimidating opponents—defeating Stephens, Elina Svitolina, and Australian Open runner-up Zheng Qinwen in straight sets.

Swiatek, 22, was first out of the gate in the opening set, navigating a long sixth game to break serve behind a fearsome backhand winner, but lost her rhythm from there as Kalinskaya reeled off the next six games to find herself up a set and a break.

Kalinskaya defeated three Top 10 players this week in Dubai.

Kalinskaya defeated three Top 10 players this week in Dubai.


Swiping her racquet in frustration, Swiatek was unable to ground her game despite Kalinskaya’s lack of offensive firepower, struggling to find the correct shape on her own groundstrokes and resulting in myriad unforced errors.

Ccoached by former WTA player Patricia Tarabini, Kalinskaya nabbed an insurance break off a backhand miss from Swiatek to give herself the chance to serve for the seismic upset.

Kalinskaya smacked a forehand into the open court to earn two match points. Swiatek saved both with a pair of spectacular winners, a fiery volley and a backhand cross-court, and put on a brave last stand as she clawed back to within a point of leveling the set.

Serving for the match a second time, Kalinskaya saved two break points and let out some rare emotion as she engineered a third match point. A swinging forehand put her over the finish line and earned her third Top 10 win of the week but undoubtedly the biggest result of her career.