Simona Halep of Romania had too much firepower in the end against the Czech Karolina Pliskova in the Dubai Championships' final, beating her in straight sets. Although it was by no means an easy victory for the 5' 6" player against a woman standing seven inches taller than her, who utilises her serve to the maximum in her matches, she always looked the more likely winner as she clinched her tenth WTA tour title.
Pliskova, who at 22-years-old is one year younger than Halep, often dominates her opponents through the sheer weight of her serve, having the most aces on the tour so far this year. She was not able to intimidate the top seed though in Dubai, who possessed the better ground strokes and often used them to good effect in the match at decisive moments, in an effort to counter the stronger service.
Halep kept her rival moving around at the Aviation Club, as she needed just one break point to take the first set 6-4. The second set could have gone either way, as Halep showed resilience to withstand four service break chances for her opponent, but then displayed some nervous moments as she wasted two match points. The two exchanged several service breaks before reaching the tie-break in the second set. However, Halep ultimately won through to take the match 6-4 7-6, for her second title of the year so far, after triumphing in Shenzhen last month.
Victory confirmed the young Romanian at number three in the world rankings and she was obviously happy with her form and the win, saying that it was "a big title for me" when interviewed afterwards.
It was not all bad news for Pliskova though, with the expectation that she will now climb up to 12th herself when the new rankings are announced next week. #TennisShe had employed a basic tactic earlier in the week against lower ranked opposition, favouring to play from the baseline, but had clearly decided that she needed to be bolder to have any chance against the number one seed for the event. She ventured forward far more often in the match than in her semi-final and may have made more errors as a result, yet clearly felt that the change of strategy was necessary to stay in the match, as her rival scampered around willingly to keep the points going.