After a dominant unbeaten run, Iga Świątek was finally beaten as she was stunned by Barbora Krejčíková in final of Dubai Tennis Championships.
The world No. 1 had dropped just nine games en route to the final – the fewest ever to reach a WTA 1000 final – surpassing the previous record of 10 held by Serena Williams in 2013.
But in the final, she faced an inspired Krejčíková, with the Czech player winning 6-4 6-2.
It is the second time she has beaten Poland’s Świątek in the final of a tournament in recent months, having won at the AGEL Open in her home country in October of last year.
And the former world No. 2 grabbed a memorable title, her first of the year, by beating the scorching hot Świątek in 91-minutes in Dubai.
After victory at the Qatar Open last week, Świątek was the in form player of those making the short trip to Dubai.
And she kept up her red-hot form by reaching the final, meaning she dropped just 14 games in the six matches she played before Saturday’s final.
Świątek became the second player ever to reach six WTA 1000 finals before turning 22 since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009.
But in Krejčíková, she faced inspired opposition.
The 27-year-old gave no quarter throughout, breaking Świątek midway through the opening set before claiming an important one set lead.
And she never relinquished it, once again breaking the three-time grand slam winner to claim a famous victory.
It means that after beating world No. 2 Ons Jabeur and No. 3 Jessica Pegula in the previous two rounds, Krejčíková becomes the fifth player to beat the top three ranked players at the same event.
She defeated four top-10 players at the Dubai Tennis Championships this year, which is as many as in her previous 24 tournaments played.
And as a result, Krejčíková is scheduled to rise from No. 30 to No. 16 in the world rankings.