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Schiavone & Domínguez Lino Make Final

Francesca Schiavone and Lourdes Domínguez Lino will have the greatest combined age of WTA finalists since 2010.

Published April 27, 2013 08:14

Schiavone & Domínguez Lino Make Final
Francesca Schiavone

MARRAKECH, Morocco - The Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem final on Sunday will feature a battle of 32-year-olds in the form of Francesca Schiavone and Lourdes Domínguez Lino.

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The sixth-seeded Schiavone hadn't been beyond a quarterfinal since netting her fifth WTA title last May in Strasbourg and in fact had lost her opener in five of her nine events this year. But this week she is playing like the former French Open champion that she is, not dropping a set all tournament.

However, Schiavone was pushed on Saturday against Chanelle Scheepers, especially in the first set in which she won the first three games, lost the next three and then they traded holds until the tie-break. After winning that, then losing the opening game of the second set, Schiavone did not drop another game for a 76(4) 61 triumph.

"It's been a long time since I've been to a final, so I'm really happy," Schiavone said. "It's good to get this far again. I have one more step to go, so I want to take advantage of this chance and leave everything on the court."

As for Domínguez Lino, just like in her three previous matches this week she was extended to three sets and emerged the winner. This time, after dropping the first set against Mandy Minella, she won 12 of the next 13 games for a 26 60 61 victory.

"It was a tough match because she started off playing well and I was a little bit tired from yesterday," Domínguez Lino said. "But I think mentally I was stronger in the end, and that was the difference. I'm so happy I won."

Before this week, Domínguez Lino had not been beyond a WTA quarterfinal since Bogotá in 2011 - which happened to be the last time she won a WTA event. She also was victorious there in 2006 and takes a 2-0 record in WTA finals into Sunday.

However, in her series with Domínguez Lino that dates back 15 years, Schiavone has a 3-1 edge and a three-match winning streak. Regardless of who wins, the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem will have its 13th different champion in 13 years of existence.

And with the two combatants having a combined age of more than 64 years, it will be the greatest combined age of WTA finalists since Osaka in October 2010, when 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm and 33-year-old Tamarine Tanasugarn participated in the oldest-known final in WTA history.

Sunday's doubles final will see No.3 seeds Timea Babos and Minella take on No.4 seeds Petra Martic and Kristina Mladenovic. Babos and Minella are seeking their second WTA title as a duo and Martic and Mladenovic their first.

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