AP

Svitolina wins Dubai, will debut in top 10

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Elina Svitolina of Ukraine is set to debut in the top 10 after winning her second title of the season at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.

Svitolina dominated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 in the final that started two hours late because of rain.

“It’s big relief, because I knew that if I win this match, I’m gonna be top 10,” Svitolina said. “There was extra pressure. (And) when I was warming up, added even more pressure because they announced it. It didn’t help.”

Svitolina earned her final berth by knocking out top-seeded Angelique Kerber in a three-set semifinal.

The Dubai tournament is the most prestigious title of the six that Svitolina’s won. The previous five were lower-level WTA events, including the Taiwan Open this month. She is on a 12-match winning streak.

Svitolina has won both times she’s played against Wozniacki, although the first at the Miami Open last year was a much harder victory.

Both players were content to remain fastened to the baseline in Dubai, but Svitolina’s firepower set them apart.

“I kind of felt like I ran out of steam a little bit and she took advantage of that,” Wozniacki said. “She stepped it up a little bit, and that was kind of that.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating when you see what you want to do out there and you just can’t do it.”

Svitolina took advantage of her second match point by shutting down Wozniacki with a blistering backhand that painted the sideline.

Beyond losing her serve at love in the second game of the second set, Svitolina saved the other three break points she faced.

This was Wozniacki’s second consecutive final in as many weeks, but she also left without the winner’s trophy from Doha last week. She was now 25-19 in career finals.

“I can take a lot of positives with me from this week,” Wozniacki said. “I’m hoping for a good season.”

Nishikori saves three match points in Geneva Open QF win

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GENEVA — Kei Nishikori saved three straight match points in the deciding set before outlasting Kevin Anderson 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the Geneva Open quarterfinals on Thursday.

The second-seeded Nishikori was serving at 4-5, 0-40 before rallying to beat the 62nd-ranked South African, who fired 14 aces without allowing any by his opponent.

Nishikori also trailed in the tiebreaker before creating a second match-point chance with a forehand crosscourt service return for a winner. He clinched with a forehand winner off a looping net-cord ball.

The No. 9-ranked Japanese player will face 33rd-ranked Mischa Zverev of Germany in the semifinals on Friday.

The Russian-born Zverev, who came through qualifying, beat fifth-seeded Steve Johnson of the United States 6-4, 7-5.

Madison Keys aiming to kick start her season at French Open

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PARIS (AP) After a disappointing start to 2017, Madison Keys is ready to kick start her season when the French Open begins on Sunday.

Keys missed the first two months of the year after undergoing surgery on her left wrist in the offseason.

“I’m fully recovered and happy to be back on the tour,” Keys said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Obviously, I haven’t had the perfect start to the season, but really I’m just happy to be back on the court and be pain free.

“I’m very excited to play in Roland Garros. I feel like every year I love it a little bit more and it’s such a beautiful city to play in, so I’m very excited for the start.”

In her first tournament back, Keys reached the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March. But since then, the American has made first round exits in Charleston, Madrid and Rome – where she reached the final last year.

However, Keys hasn’t gone out in the opening round of a Grand Slam since losing to Sara Errani at Roland Garros in 2014.

“I’m really just trying to have some good matches and looking at it that way and you know that’s all I’m really concerned about,” she said.

Long considered one of the world’s most promising young players, the 22-year-old Keys burst through to the semifinals of the 2015 Australian Open while still a teenager and went on to make the quarterfinals at Wimbledon that year.

The upward trajectory continued last season, with Keys reaching the Olympic semifinals as well as making three finals and winning her second WTA title.

Moreover, Keys became the first American woman to be ranked in the top 10 since Serena Williams in 1999.

That success had Keys targeting the top five and a Grand Slam. But following her injuries, the No. 13 is now taking it one match at a time.

“I’m really just trying to kind of get my match rhythm back and feel more comfortable on the tennis court, so right now that’s kind of my main goal and focus,” Keys said.

Keys was reunited with former coach Lindsay Davenport in the offseason and also recently added Maria Sharapova’s former hitting partner, Dieter Kindlmann, to her team.

“It’s going well,” Keys said. “Lindsey and I have been working together for a couple of months now and I think the addition of Didi is really going well.”