Krejcikova the giant-slayer, Medvedev on a roll

Former RG champion beats world's top-three in Dubai

Barbora Krejcikova, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2023, Final©Jorge Ferrari/Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
 - Reem Abulleil

A champion recaptures her magic, a former world No.1 extends a winning streak, and a tireless lefty avenges a recent defeat… The week gone by on the WTA and ATP tours certainly delivered.

Here’s a look at what you may have missed from the action in Dubai, Doha, Rio de Janeiro, Marseille and beyond.

Bara shines in Dubai

One would struggle to find anyone with more passion for tennis, in its purest form, than Barbora Krejcikova.

The 2021 Roland-Garros champion lives and breathes the sport. When she’s not on the practice court or match court, she is nearby in the stands watching her peers, quietly admiring them and appreciating everything they have to offer.

That love for the game never dimmed, even when she was sidelined for three months last year with an elbow injury that hindered her progress and saw her drop from No.2 in the rankings to as low as No.30.

She began to find her form towards the end of last season when she won the WTA 500 tournament on home soil in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Another injury disrupted her offseason and she only began preparing for 2023 after Christmas.

“Definitely last year was really tough, especially for being out for so long,” said Krejcikova.

“Beginning of the season it was actually a miracle wherever I got. I felt like with just me playing and practicing, being healthy, that I can achieve big things.”

She certainly did!

Barbora Krejcikova, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2023, Final©Jorge Ferrari/Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

Last week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Krejcikova beat world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka, world No.3 Jessica Pegula, and world No.1 Iga Swiatek, in consecutive matches, to lift the WTA 1000 trophy in the Emirates.

The 27-year-old Czech put it one heroic performance after the other, saving four match points against world No.8 Daria Kasatkina in the second round, and rallying back from 0-6, 1-3 down against Sabalenka in the quarter-finals, en route to clinching the sixth title of her career.

“I'm really happy that I'm here right now with this trophy and that I can celebrate it tonight. I hope I'm going to get soon where I belong,” said Krejcikova, whose efforts in Dubai have seen here move up from No.30 to No.16 in the rankings.

The final was a showdown between two Roland-Garros champions and it saw Krejcikova claim a second straight victory – 6-4, 6-2 – over Swiatek, who had been seemingly untouchable in the Middle East these past two weeks.

“It's amazing that in such a young age she has her mind really clear for what she wants, she's able to achieve that. I have so much respect for her,” said Krejcikova of the 21-year-old Swiatek.

“To me, she is just a big motivation. I see what she's doing and I want to do the same thing.”

Krejcikova owns an impressive 6-1 win-loss record in tour-level finals and she credits her love for performing on the big stage for her ability to step up in championship matches.

Often spotted courtside watching live tennis matches at tournaments, Krejcikova explained why she never tires from the sport.

“I love tennis, so I love watching it. I love all the matches. I watch the women's matches, but also the men's matches,” said the seven-time Grand Slam doubles champion.

“In some of these matches I can learn a lot of things. Also I just go there because I love watching tennis and it's better than sitting or laying down in a bed just doing nothing.

“Yeah, I love tennis since very young age. It was always my passion. When I have this opportunity to actually watch it live, to see all these girls that are top 10 and top five, they play against each other, I just love that. I enjoy it so much.”

Daniil's fruitful February

Ex-world No.1 Daniil Medvedev extended his winning streak to nine consecutive matches as he claimed a second title in as many weeks, following up his triumph in Rotterdam with success in Doha on Saturday.

The 27-year-old overcame a ninth-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals before ending Andy Murray’s heroic run in the championship match, posting a 6-4, 6-4 result over the resurgent Brit.

Medvedev was making his Doha debut and was happy to have secured the falcon-shaped trophy at his first attempt. He is the first player to win titles in back-to-back weeks on the men’s tour this season.

After briefly dropping outside the top-10, Medvedev is now back up to No.7 and next heads to Dubai, where he opens against Italian lucky loser Matteo Arnaldi.

“Every time you get a title, you feel great and you feel like this winning feeling is back, you are back, you can get even bigger titles, even bigger wins,” Medvedev told reporters in Doha.

“But that's all about confidence, and confidence can go away really fast with one loss.

“So I feel great right now at the moment. I have a tournament to play next week, so it's a new week, a new challenge, and then we go to USA to the other part of the world, jet lag, everything. Right now I'm feeling great, and I want to try to continue feeling this way.”

Norrie gets his revenge

After losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the Buenos Aires final the previous week, Cameron Norrie settled the score right away by overcoming the Spanish world No.2 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in the Rio Open title decider on Sunday.

The first two players to square off in consecutive Sundays on the ATP tour since Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray did so in May 2016, Norrie and Alcaraz put on a show for the Rio crowd before the left-handed Brit wrapped up the win in two hours 42 minutes.

Norrie had to fight back from 5-7, 0-3, 0/30 down to end Alcaraz's title defence.

"It's so special to win this one, especially I'd lost a couple finals already this year and I had to do it the tough way," Norrie was quoted as saying by

"A set and a break down and 0/30 on my serve, I was looking done there and I managed to flick a switch and turn it around, so it was a good day."

Over in Marseille, Poland's Hubert Hurkacz fired 19 aces and dropped just three points on his first serve on his way to a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over home favourite Benjamin Bonzi on Sunday.

It is Hurkacz's sixth career title and first of 2023.

At the WTA 250 event in Merida, Mexico, Italian Camila Giorgi defeated Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-2 to bag the fourth title of her career.