Granby | WTA 250 Championnats Banque Nationale de Granby
Top seed Daria Kasatkina made her 11th career WTA final by defeating France’s Diane Parry, 6-2 6-0, in a US Open tuneup Friday at Granby in Quebec, Canada, on Friday, and will play Australia’s Daria Saville, who advanced to her first WTA final since 2017 by way of a walk-over on Thursday when Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk withdrew from the event with a right shoulder injury.
When Alizé had the chance to serve out the match, I was thinking, ‘If you are losing, lose aggressively’. I tried to do my best because that’s all you can do in that situation. Aliaksandra Sasnovich
25-year old Kasatkina, the World No 10, who was born in Russia but now lives in Spain, cannot represent her homeland under rules imposed by the tour following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It is the 5th career WTA final for Saville, but her first since Hong Kong in October 2017.
She won her only WTA title in August 2017 in another tune-up event the week before the US Open, taking the Connecticut Open crown.
Kasatkina, who is chasing her 6th WTA crown in 3 weeks after claiming her most recent title at San Jose, needed just over an hour to see off 19-year old Parry, who was first-time WTA semi-finalist.
“I’m happy with the level of the tennis today,” Kasatkina said after her win. “At the beginning, it was a bit tight, but I’m happy with how I was able to manage the nerves, and I’m really happy with the way I was playing from the middle of the first set to the end of the match.
“To play finals, it’s always great because we don’t make many, many finals – unfortunately it’s like this! So every time I play a final it’s great, and I’m excited to be in the final and prepare for tomorrow.”
Kasatkina had 18 winners and 11 unforced errors in the match, while Parry’s 12 winners were well outstripped by 32 miscues, while the top seed made good use of first serve, winning a whopping 88 percent of those points.
Her two finals this season have come this month on hard court.
Kasatkina’s final opponent, Saville is a former Top 20 player Saville and continues an excellent come-back season after Achilles tendon surgery, which she had in February of 2021 and kept her out of action for most of last year.
This year, she made quarter-finals at Miami and Guadalajara before a semi-final showing in Washington DC earlier this month.
Thanks to her solid performances, Saville has seen her ranking rise this year from No 627 in February to her current position of 73.
Kasatkina has come out on top in both of her previous meetings with Saville, although they have not played since 2017, defeating the Aussie, who was also born in Russia, in the first round of the 2015 US Open and the Round of 16 at 2017 Charleston.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich improved her record to 3-0 over Alizé Cornet with her semi-final come-back win in Cleveland on Friday
Cleveland | WTA 250 Tennis in the Land presented by motorola edge
Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Liudmila Samsonova, advanced to the Tennis in the Land final in Cleveland, Ohio, on Friday in the US Open hard court tune-up tournament.
Sasnovich, the 7th seed from Belarus, outlasted French 8th-seeded Alizé Cornet from France, 6-7(5) 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 51 minutes, while Russia’s Samsonova dispatched American Bernarda Pera, 6-1 6-2, after just 52 minutes in their semi-final matches.
28-year old Sasnovich is the World No 36, while 23-year old Samsonova is ranked 45.
Sasnovich made her 4th career final with a come-back win over Cornet, maintaining her undefeated record over the Frenchwoman, who sits next to her in this week’s rankings at No 37.
The 7th seed fought back from a set and a break down to overcome the 32-year old in a gruelling contest, and is now a win away from her first WTA singles title following 3 runner-up showings at 2015 Seoul, 2018 Brisbane and this year’s Melbourne Summer Set 2.
Cornet served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but Sasnovich quickly broke the Frenchwoman to pull back on serve without facing a match point, and then claimed all the momentum from there, picking up the final 3 games of the set before taking the decider as well, ending the affair with a drop-shot.
“When Alizé had the chance to serve out the match, I was thinking, ‘If you are losing, lose aggressively’,” Sasnovich said. “I tried to do my best because that’s all you can do in that situation.”
Cornet had not lost a set in her first 3 victories in Cleveland, which included the 500th of her career in the opening round.
Overall, Cornet was slightly more effective behind her first serve, but second-service points made the difference, as Sasnovich won 59 percent of points behind her second delivery, while the Frenchwoman claimed only 34 percent of hers.
Big hitting Liudmila Samsonova out-gunned Bernarda Pera to reach the Cleveland final
In the final, Sasnovich will face surging Samsonova, who is on a match-winning streak and eased past Pera in the second semi-final of the day.
Big-hitting Samsonova fired a stunning 30 winners to just 6 unforced errors as she won her 9th match in a row, having opened August by winning her second career title at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, and reached the final without loss of a set.
Last year, she won the German Open title.
Pera, ranked 51, who had won career-best 13 consecutive WTA matches, and claimed titles at Budapest, Hungary and Hamburg, Germany, suffered her first loss since Wimbledon two months ago.
Samsonova, though, was in overwhelming form on Friday, never even allowing Pera to hold a single break point in the match as she levelled their head-to-head at one victory apiece, allowing 4 total points in winning all 8 of her service games.
The unseeded Russian fired 7 aces without a double-fault against the lone American in the semi-finals..
Samsonova and Sasnovich will be meeting for the first time in Saturday’s final.
The Cleveland WTA 250 is a final preparation event for the year’s final Grand Slam tournament, the US Open, which begins Monday in New York.