Elena Rybakina effortlessly outclassed World No 1 Iga Swiatek in a pivotal women’s singles match that set up the Hawks victory over the Kites in the World Tennis League (WTA) finals on Saturday. The winners will take home one million dirhams as prize money.
Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champion, needed less than 70 minutes on the custom-built hard-court at a packed Coca-Cola Arena to complete a 6-4 6-3 victory over Swiatek and secure the opening singles for the Hawks. However, Felix Auger-Aliassime restored parity for the Kites when he overwhelmed Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev 6-4 6-3 in the men’s singles.
It was down to the mixed doubles to break the deadlock which Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Dominic Thiem succeeded in doing for the Hawks when they defeated Sania Mirza and Holger Rune 7-6
Despite the World Tennis League’s exhibition status, tennis fans have been treated to six days of high-level tennis from some of the world’s best exponents of the game, which also featured 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, whose Falcons failed to reach the finals.