Garbine Muguruza into Dubai Championships semi-finals with Caroline Garcia victory

Elina Svitolina in action against Qiang Wang during second round match at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. Karim Sahib  AFP

Elina Svitolina in action against Qiang Wang during second round match at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. Karim Sahib AFP

Angelique Kerber may have scored her biggest victory yet at the end of past year, when the German returned home to Puszczykowo, Poznan in western Poland.

Wang Qiang of China, a lucky loser from qualifying, challenged Svitolina before the Ukrainian triumphed 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals in the United Arab Emirates.

"I'm very pleased with the performance", Svitolina said. She's a very tough opponent. "In the end, the win is the win".

For she next takes on Angelique Kerber, who she beat in the Dubai semis previous year when the German was world No1.

"She has the weapons". She hit the ball really hard, serving good. I think she has a good fitness to be able to run a lot.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the draw, No2 seed Garbiñe Muguruza looked remarkably spry after a 2am finish to her quarter-final last night. "Now I just try to enjoy much more things on and off court".

Svitolina will play Daria Kasatkina in the final after the Russian defeated Garbine Muguruza in a three-set thriller.

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"When you're winning from match points (down), you don't know why", she said. "I played well in the tight moments, I tried to focus only on what I had to do on court and let nothing else into my mind".

Both players claimed straight-set victories on Thursday.

Muguruza, chasing her first title since Cincinnati last August, won 13 points in a row on her way to bringing up a 4-1 as she closed in on victory in a match which was twice interrupted by rain. Pliskova fended off Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

"Against Pliskova, it's always a tough match", Kerber said. I think that's what, you know, help her today.

Muguruza faced several problems trying to find her feet early in the encounter, with multiple errors allowing Kasatkina to earn four break points in the opening game. It will be a completely different match than today. Nonetheless, the Spaniard found her groove soon, displaying some top-notch tennis despite having a tinge of inconsistency in her game.

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