Paolini rallies to beat Kalinskaya for Dubai title


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Jasmine Paolini earned the biggest victory of her career by defeating qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 to win the Dubai Championships title on Saturday.

The 26th-ranked Paolini fought back from a break down in both the second and third sets en route to her second career WTA singles title and first at the 1000 level.

Paolini, a 28-year-old Italian, avenged her loss to Kalinskaya from a month ago in the Australian Open fourth round, and Saturday’s victory assures her of a top 20 debut when the rankings are updated on Monday.

Kalinskaya had come through qualifying and beat three top-10 players in a row – including No. 1 Iga Swiatek – to reach the final.

The 40th-ranked Kalinskaya, the first qualifier to reach the Dubai final, had beaten No. 9 Jelena Ostapenko, then No. 3 Coco Gauff, then Swiatek. It was Swiatek’s first straight-set loss in almost a year.

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