WTA roundup: Elise Mertens looks to defend title in Tunisia
Posted on: 21 Oct, 2023 at 07:13 PM
Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
No. 2 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium will look to defend her title at the Jasmin Open Monastir after advancing to the final with a decisive 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 8 Clara Burel of France on Saturday in Tunisia.
The win came after one hour, 23 minutes. Most of the action occurred in the nearly hour-long first set, when Mertens faced five break points and dropped serve twice. However, Burel could not win a game off her own serve in the first set, and she was 0-for-7 in her service games throughout the match.
Mertens will face No. 1 seed Jasmine Paolini, who needed two hours and 25 minutes to beat fourth-seeded Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Paolini dominated the first set, going 4-for-7 on break points while Tsurenko went just 2-for-13, but Tsurenko rebounded in the second set. Ultimately, Tsurenko dropped serve at 5-2 in the third set -- her eighth dropped service game of the match -- to send Italy's Paolini into the final.
Unseeded Elena-Gabriela Ruse, the home-country favorite, continued her surprising run by beating fourth-seeded Spaniard Rebeka Masarova in semifinal action in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
In their first career meeting, Ruse took 81 minutes to beat Masarova 6-1, 6-4. After an easy first set, Ruse ran into some trouble in the second as Masarova rallied from 4-1 to trail 5-4. But Masarova let two chances for 5-5 slip away, sending Ruse to the final.
Ruse will face another unseeded player -- first-time finalist Tamara Korpatsch, who won an all-German semifinal against Eva Lys 6-4, 6-3. In a match that lasted 82 minutes, Korpatsch grabbed control by winning eight of nine games from 4-3 down in the first set.
Ruse and Korpatsch have faced each other twice, with Ruse coming out on top both times in matches that went three sets, though they haven't played each other since 2020.
Third-seeded Marie Bouzkova and fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova each recorded a straight-set win to advance to the final in Nanchang, China.
The all-Czech final is the first since Barbora Krejcikova defeated Tereza Martincova in Prague in July 2021.
Bouzkova advanced to her first final of the year after posting a 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over Diana Shnaider of Russia. Bouzkova won 84.6 percent of her first serves and saved five of 10 break points to dispatch Shnaider in one hour, 43 minutes.
Siniakova avenged last week's loss to Leylah Fernandez in the final at Hong Kong with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over the Canadian. Siniakova had three aces and overcame seven double faults to win Saturday's match in two hours and seven minutes.
--Field Level Media