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Top two seeds Krejcikova and Ostapenko reach Birmingham final

Top two seeds Krejcikova and Ostapenko reach Birmingham final

The top two seeds at the Rothesay Classic, No.1 Barbora Krejcikova and No.2 Jelena Ostapenko, will square off for the title in Sunday’s championship match.

Top-seeded Krejcikova of the Czech Republic rolled into the Birmingham final with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over China’s Zhu Lin on Saturday.

Latvia’s Ostapenko overcame No.4 seed Anastasia Potapova 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in Saturday’s second semifinal.

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Ostapenko leads the head-to-head with Krejcikova 4-2. Ostapenko won their most recent meeting in straight sets on the clay of Rome earlier this year.

Krejcikova cruises: In their first career meeting, 12th-ranked Krejcikova took 1 hour and 32 minutes to oust World No.39 Zhu. Krejcikova moves into her second final of the season, following her title run at WTA 1000 Dubai in February. 

“Definitely feels great, I’m really happy with the way I played today,” Krejcikova said after her victory. “It’s always difficult to play on the grass because the game can change quickly, so I’m happy how I handled the match and that I’m in the final.”

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With the win, Krejcikova continued her massive success in tour-level semifinals. The Czech has now won 10 of her 11 semifinal matches throughout her Hologic WTA Tour career.

2021 Roland Garros champion Krejcikova has not dropped a set all week in Birmingham. The top seed continued her solid form against Zhu, firing four aces and winning over half the points when returning the Zhu first serve.

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Ostapenko battles to another win: 2017 Roland Garros champion Ostapenko, meanwhile, needed 2 hours and 7 minutes to come back from a set down against Potapova in their first meeting, and reach her first Hologic WTA Tour final of the season.

World No.17 Ostapenko and No.21 Potapova had won all of their preceding matches this week in three sets, and Saturday’s semifinal continued that pattern. Ultimately, it was Ostapenko who prevailed with five breaks of serve to Potapova’s three.

“It was a really tough match, and it’s never easy to play great players like Anastasia,” Ostapenko said afterwards. “I was trying to play aggressive and to play my game. … I think it worked pretty well at the end, and the deciding moments, I felt like I played well.”

Ostapenko saved three set points at 5-4 in the first set, but Potapova took the opener two games later by converting her sixth set point with a forehand winner. However, Ostapenko used her own fierce forehands to build a 4-0 lead in the second set, eventually leveling the match at one set apiece.

Ostapenko earned the critical break at 3-3 in the third set, where she hit four exceptional return winners to break serve. At 5-4, a netted return by Potapova on Ostapenko’s first match point sealed victory for the No.2 seed.

  • June 24, 2023