Elina Svitolina claims back-to-back Dubai titles

The Ukrainian become only the third woman to claim back-to-back Dubai crowns
Updated 24 February 2018

Elina Svitolina claims back-to-back Dubai titles

DUBAI: Elina Svitolina beat Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-0 to win the Dubai Championships for the second year in a row.
The fourth-ranked Ukrainian becomes only the third woman to defend the title, after Justine Henin (2003-2004) and Venus Williams (2009-2010).
Svitolina beat the 24th-ranked Kasatkina for the third time in as many meetings after the Russian had saved five match points during the week in two matches.
“It’s amazing to win here again,” 23-year-old Svitolina said. “Even being the defending champion is amazing.
“I was just trying to hit the ball onto the court and make her run today. At the end I’m very happy with how I played, with this whole week, actually.”
Kasatkina brought in the accumulated wear and tear of just over nine hours on court during the week, with the Russian blinking first in the final as she dropped serve to trail 3-2 on a wide return in the opener.
Kastakina saved three set points to hold at 4-5 before the champion served out the opener after 44 minutes on her fourth opportunity.
The top seed immediately consolidated her advantage, breaking to start the second set and quickly racing away to a 3-0 lead as the reserves of Kasatkina began to drain further.
Svitolina made it 4-0 with ease and cantered to victory in just 70 minutes to earn the 11th title of her career.


Arsenal, Roma open Europa League with comeback wins

Updated 22 October 2020

Arsenal, Roma open Europa League with comeback wins

Arsenal opened its fourth straight Europa League campaign with a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Rapid Vienna on Thursday in an opening round of games affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Star striker Pierre­ Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 74th for Arsenal, which won its group in its previous three campaigns in the second-tier European competition.
Roma also came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Young Boys, as did Granada to upset PSV Eindhoven away.
Rangers’ Kemar Roofe scored the goal of the night in a 2-0 victory at Standard Liege, dribbling his way through three opponents inside his own half and then launching a shot from the halfway line that caught the goalkeeper off guard and looped into the net.
Dutch team AZ Alkmaar overcame a slew of coronavirus cases to upset Napoli 1-0.
Tottenham, AC Milan were among teams playing later Thursday.
Arsenal went behind when goalkeeper Bernd Leno played a poor pass that fell to Rapid forward Taxiarchis Fountas, who slotted in a low shot from a tough angle in the 51st minute.
Arteta sent on Aubameyang and Héctor Bellerín in the 61st, and the substitutes helped spark the comeback.
After David Luiz headed in a free kick from Nicolas Pépé to level the score, Mohamed Elneny freed Bellerín down the right to cross for Aubameyang to complete the comeback from close range.
In the other Group B game, Molde also came from behind to win 2-1 at Dundalk.
AZ Alkmaar flew into Naples with 13 players sidelined with coronavirus infections. Napoli, meanwhile, was coming off a 4-1 win over high-scoring Atalanta 4-1 this past weekend. But the Dutch staved off the hosts’ pressure before Dani de Wit scored the winner in the 57th. Real Sociedad won 1-0 at Rijeka the other Group F game.
With Roma resting striker Edin Džeko, Bruno Peres and Marash Kumbulla led the rally with the second-half goals for the Italian side.
Jean ­Pierre Nsame had given Young Boys the lead by converting a penalty kick in the 14th.
It was the first home loss for Young Boys to an Italian opponent in European competitions after beating Udinese, Napoli and Juventus.
Also in Group A, Romania’s Cluj won 2-0 at Bulgaria’s CSKA Sofia.
In Group C, Bayer Leverkusen produced the biggest win of the early games by beating Nice 6-2. Nadiem Amiri and Lucas Alario scored early first-half goals five minutes apart for Leverkusen, while substitute Karim Bellarabi netted two and 17-year-old forward Florian Wirtz came off the bench to complete the rout.
In a game between teams from two countries whose domestic leagues have been interrupted due to high levels of coronavirus infections, Israel’s Hapoel Beer-Sheva beat Czech Republic’s Slavia Prague 3-1.
James Tavernier gave Celtic the lead from the penalty spot in the 19th before Roofe added his spectacular second goal in injury time. Benfica won 4-2 at Lech Poznan in the other Group D game.
In Group E, German forward Mario Götze put PSV ahead in first-half injury time before Jorge Molina and Darwin Machis scored for Granada in the second half. Omonoia drew with PAOK 1-1.