2018 Season | Week 8 Round-up

Svitolina defends Dubai title while Tiafoe breaks through

Frances Tiafoe practices in Houston in 2017
France Tiafoe is the youngest American ATP champion since Andy Roddick in 2002 | Beth Wilson

By Stephen Higgins | 27 February 2018

We’ll start in the the United Arab Emirates where Elina Svitolina defended her Premier title with a straight sets victory over Daria Kasatkina.

The world no.4 triumphed 6-4 6-0 in Dubai to record the 11th title of her career and second of the season. In January, the Ukrainian nabbed the trophy in Brisbane.

On the ATP Tour, it was a superb week for Diego Schwartzman in Brazil as the Argentine captured the ATP 500 in Rio - the biggest title of his career to date.

The 25-year-old clay court warrior took the cup with a 6-2 6-3 win over Fernando Verdasco. Schwartzman, who lifted the Istanbul trophy in 2016, will now move into the ATP’s top 20 for the first time.

Youth came to the fore in the remaining ATP 250 events in Marseille and Delray Beach.

In the south of France, Karen Khachanov beat Lucas Pouille 7-6 3-6 7-5 in the final. It’s the second career title for the 21-year-old who is ranked 41 in the world.

Meanwhile, in California, Frances Tiafoe enjoyed his first title success on the ATP tour as he stormed to victory in Delray Beach. The 20-year-old overcame Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 6-4 in the final and moves up to 61 on the ATP rankings list.

Finally, the biggest upset of the week occured in Hungary where 2015 Roland Garros quarter-finalist Alison Van Uytvanck outlasted Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 3-6 7-5 in the Budapest final.

The 23-year-old Belgian moves to 50 in the WTA rankings, nine places shy of her career high.