Iga Swiatek in ugly clash with umpire as Barbora Krejcikova makes history
The World No.1 was involved in a fiery exchange with the chair umpire in the final in Dubai.
Barbora Krejcikova has stunned Iga Swiatek and the tennis world, beating the World No.1 in the Dubai final on Saturday night. Swiatek looked out of sorts as Krejcikova capped off an extraordinary week with a 6-4 6-2 victory in the decider.
Swiatek was unbeaten during the Middle East swing before Saturday's final, having won the title in Qatar last week. But Krejcikova finally broke her red-hot streak to capture her first WTA 1000 singles title.
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In doing so she became just the fifth player in WTA history to beat the No.1, 2 and 3 players in the world at one tournament. The Czech player beat World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the quarters before taking down No.2 Jessica Pegula in the semis.
"It means a lot," Krejcikova said after winning her sixth WTA title. "It was a great week and I was improving in every game.
"Today, I showed my best tennis. Iga motivates me every day, it was a great final and I'm definitely happy with the result."
The match didn't come without controversy as Swiatek was hit with a time violation for taking too long in between the first and second sets. The World No.1 looked furious at being hit with the violation and remonstrated with the chair umpire.
Tennis fans and commentators were left divided over the incident. Some agreed that Swiatek had been taking too long, while others took aim at the umpire for being pedantic.
Swiatek not happy about getting a time violation, which was what was required.
Don't know if she lost track ...reading whatever that was she brought with her. pic.twitter.com/BJYvXyRaUd
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) February 25, 2023
Iga suggesting that the fans deserve a time violation 💀
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) February 25, 2023
100%, she even took a lot of time getting to the bathroom, then arguing with the ref, now complaining about something in the crowd during Krejcikova's serve... she's doing all she can to disrupt the czech's rhythm.
— Jorgov (@jorgov_ac) February 25, 2023
— Bishal (@bishalc004) February 25, 2023
Yep it's stupid...
— Wesley Kets (@wesleykets1) February 25, 2023
@iga_swiatek don't become one of those people, please. 🙏 Accept that sometimes you're going to be beaten and move on.. Don't start with dirty tricks.. It's unbecoming and does not suit you. It's more tsitsipas's forte.
— SusanB (@SusanB63432801) February 25, 2023
Swiatek is NASTY. Screaming at the umpire because she broke the rules. Horrible #1.
— ESP (@miralles_41) February 25, 2023
Barbora Krejcikova's stunning win over Iga Swiatek
Krejcikova started the final in dominant fashion, breaking in the first game with a huge cross-court backhand winner. A loose game allowed Swiatek to draw level at 3-3, but 2021 French Open champ Krejcikova struck back immediately with aggressive ball-striking, only to then surrender her serve again.
Krejcikova took the next game to love as Swiatek struggled to contain the unforced errors and the 27-year-old held firm to wrap up the opening set. It was the first set the World No.1 had dropped in the past two weeks, and the 21-year-old found herself trailing 4-2 in the second set as Krejcikova took control.
Krejcikova closed out the match on serve to join an elite club. Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Sabalenka are the only other players to beat top-three ranked players in the same tournament.
"It's a huge achievement," Krejcikova said. "I was enjoying all the matches and I love playing on big courts with the great atmosphere. I hope there's going to be more matches like this for me."
It was a week of great escapes for Krejcikova, who saved four match points against Daria Kasatkina in the second round and rallied back from 0-6 1-3 down in her quarter-final against Sabalenka. She is set to climb 14 places from No.30 to 16 when the rankings are updated on Monday.
The loss marked Swiatek's first in a WTA 1000 final after winning the first five of her career. "I'm pretty sure we're going to have many finals but hopefully next time it's going to go my way, because the last two went for you," Swiatek told Krejcikova.
"Sorry to my team. I'm pretty sure we're going to get many more, we're going to keep working."
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