World No.30 Barbora Krejcikova pulled off a 0-6 7-6(2) 6-1 victory over reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in the Dubai quarterfinals and handed the world No.2 her first loss in the 2023 season.
In a clash between two major titlists, both of whom eliminated former Dubai champions in the previous round, Krejcikova put an end to Sabalenka’s undefeated season in just under two hours, taking the 24-year-old’s win-loss record in 2023 to 13-1. The 2021 French Open winner Krejcikova recovered from a 6-0 3-1 deficit and won the last five games of the match to beat Sabalenka for the first time in their three career meetings.
The unseeded Krejcikova has hit 108 winners at the 2023 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the most of any player. Moreover, the Czech is the only semifinalist this week that has been past that stage — in 2021 she reached the Dubai final and lost to Garbine Muguruza in the title match.
The next obstacle for Krejcikova will be third seed Jessica Pegula, who advanced without play, as her quarterfinal opponent Karolina Muchova withdrew due to an abdominal injury. The other Friday’s semifinal will be contested between top seed Iga Swiatek and fifth seed Coco Gauff.