London | WTA Roundup – Finals in Lausanne and Budapest
Lausanne, Switzerland – WTA 250 Ladies Open Lausanne
The final of the Ladies Open Lausanne will be disputed on Sunday by the Serbian Olga Danilovic and the Croatian Petra Martic.
From start to finish it was really tough. Maybe the result doesn’t tell. I’m really happy with the way I played. I think I’ve been very consistent. It was a good result for me. I was just playing point by point, I was calm and I believed in myself. Olga Danilovic
Danilovic had the easiest route through Saturday’s contested semi-finals, beating Anastasia Potapova 6-3 6-4 in an hour 16 minutes, while Martic had to beat 6th seed Caroline Garcia to book her place in the last 2 .
Martic beat the Frenchwoman for the first time in her career, winning 6-4 1-6 6-3, after 1 hour and 56 minutes of fighting.
Both reached the 4th round at Wimbledon, and both hadn’t dropped a set all week in Switzerland, but it was Martic who prevailed to reach his first final since 2019, following his victory over the last year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinals.
Unranked, Martic converted 3 of 4 break chances by surviving Garcia, and is aiming for a 2nd career title after his 5th career final, having won his first WTA event in Istanbul in 2019.
Martic hadn’t taken a set against Garcia in 3 previous encounters, but they hadn’t played since 2018, and although the Croatian is now ranked No.85, she has been as high as the world No.14.
“It’s a big deal for me, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a final,” Martic said. “I was just happy to have managed to raise my level from game to game.
“Today I played my best match and my best tennis when it was necessary.
“Olga is a great player, another aggressive player, likes to be close to the baseline like Caroline.
“I think it’s going to be a very similar game to today. I have to focus on my game and just enjoy the final.
Danilovic and Martic have featured once before, with the Serb upsetting the No.16 seed in the first round of last year’s Australian Open.
“It’s just another game,” Danilovic said. “I’m just going to go out there and give what I have in me.
“I like it here, the conditions are good for me, so we’ll see.”
Her opponent for silverware is Danilovic, who picked up her upset win over Potapova earlier on Saturday as the Russian No.79 was favored to win ahead of the semi-final, but the tournament created another upset, as the Serbian won in straight sets after 70 minutes, with 5 service breaks, to reach his first WTA final since 2018.
She became the first player born in the 2000s to win a WTA title at the age of 17, winning the WTA Moscow River Cup in 2018 when she beat Potapova, 7-5 6-7(1) 6- 4, during the first championship. game between the two players under 18 in 13 years.
Danilovic won the last 3 games of the first set and the last 4 games of the second set.
“From start to finish it was really tough,” Danilovic said. “Perhaps the result does not say so.
“I’m really happy with the way I played. I think I was very consistent. It was a good result for me.
“I was just playing point by point, I was calm and I believed in myself.”
Danilovic won 58% of her first-serve points to Potapova’s 62% and 63% of her second-serve points, and also took 79% of the points on the Russian’s second-serve return.
She only lost her serve once in the match and converted 5 of the 8 break points she had on her opponent’s serve.
She is the 5th qualifier to reach a WTA Finals this year and is looking to win the title after saving a match point in her 2nd round win over Anna Kalinskaya.
Danilovic and Martic will look to end long title droughts when they meet in Sunday’s Ladies Open Lausanne final in Switzerland.
Budapest, Hungary – WTA 250 Hungarian Grand Prix
Serbian Aleksandra Krunic crushed No. 3 seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-2 6-2 to advance to the Hungarian Grand Prix final in Budapest on Saturday, where she will meet first-place American runner-up Bernarda Pera , who knocked out ninth-seeded prospect Anna Bondar of Hungary 6-3 6-4.
Krunic saved all 7 break points she faced and broke Putintseva’s serve 4 times, in her first 2 service games of the match and her last 2.
Chasing her second title, Krunic hopes to add Budapest to the Dutch Rosmalen Open which she won in June 2018 on grass at s’-Hertogenbosch.
The Serb only needed 1 hour and 15 minutes to clinch her first victory in 3 meetings with Putintseva and reach her 3rd career singles final.
“Playing well is what will keep me where I am and what will help me improve,” Krunic said afterwards. “I’m happy to be in the final, but I think above all that it’s my game that takes me to the final.
“So that’s definitely the most important thing, and I’m just focused on maintaining that level, so I can hope for more finals like this.”
The world No. 105 ended Putintseva’s 8-game winning streak, converting 4 of her 10 break points to sweep to victory.
“I did not give [Putintseva] a chance to extend the game, stretch the points and show off his skills,” Krunic added. “I just tried to be the first one who was going to be aggressive and dictate the game.”
Victory continues its blistering run across the court this week, where it hasn’t dropped a set and, after beating Laura Siegemund, 6-3 6-4, in the first round, Krunic is down just 6 games combined in his last 3 victories. on Zhang Shuai, Wang Xiyu and Putintseva.
The result will bolster Krunic’s resurgence in the WTA Tour singles rankings as the former Top 50 player climbed nearly 100 places in the rankings last season, ending 2021 at 137, and is now set to… expected return to the Top 100.
Krunic’s opponent in Sunday’s league match will be Pera, a qualifier, who advanced to the first singles final of her career after passing Bondar in an hour and 35 minutes to end the run of the favorite of the country.
Currently ranked 130, Pera had gone 0 for 4 in her previous semi-final appearances.
“[Bondar] was leading 3-0, and I was struggling a bit,” Pera said. “But I found my rhythm and I kept going and I kept fighting, so I’m happy with the win. She’s a great player so I’m really happy.
The American had to fight until the end as she was only broken for the second time of the day as she served for the match at 5-3, but a forehand winner opened the game. next game to get Pera back on track, and she prevailed after Bondar. double faulted on his 2nd match point.
Converting 5 out of a dozen break points against Bondar, Pera, like Krunic, hasn’t dropped a set all week, while the American’s immaculate play dates back to the qualifying rounds, where she also won her two matches in consecutive sets.
Pera has beaten Krunic in their 2 previous encounters, most recently in the first round in Moscow last year.