Cornet & Hradecka Strasbourg Clash Set
Published May 24, 2013 12:00
After splitting the first two sets of her semifinal against Eugenie Bouchard on Friday, the third-seeded Cornet broke at love to start the third set and never trailed from there in a 75 67(5) 63 triumph.
"It's going better and better each match, which is a good sign," Cornet said. "I hope I'll recover well to be ready tomorrow. Eugenie was playing very aggressive and was pushing me way behind the baseline. I had to dig deep inside to find the energy to play three hours and come through at the end."
After not reaching a final for all of 2009, 2010 and 2011, Cornet was runner-up in Strasbourg last year, champion in Bad Gastein last year and now back in another Strasbourg final this year. She is 2-3 all-time in WTA finals - all of them having come on clay.
"I'm just very happy I've made it to the end of the tournament," Cornet said. "There's only one match left. I really hope I'm going to win it."
Bouchard can take solace in the fact of having made her first WTA semifinal.
"I feel like I'm playing well on this surface, which is what it's going to be like next week," Bouchard said. "It's been really good preparation and has given me confidence. I'm a little disappointed with today. I tried my best, but didn't quite play my best. Some days it just doesn't happen, but I'm just going to keep working hard, practicing and getting ready for Roland Garros."
Like Cornet, Hradecka also spent about three hours on court, but she had to play two matches in doing so - with her quarterfinal having been rained out on Thursday. First, she was a 75 63 winner over Johanna Larsson to make her first semifinal of the year. In fact, she had only won one WTA main draw match before this week.
Then a few hours later, after getting routed in the first set by Flavia Pennetta, Hradecka jumped out to a 3-0 second set lead and never looked back en route to a 16 63 61 victory - her first in three meetings with the Italian.
"It's great to reach a final because I didn't start this year very well," Hradecka said. "I had some health problems. I'm so happy that I'm fit and I can play and this is great preparation for Roland Garros."
This will be Hradecka's sixth WTA final, one of which came at Strasbourg in 2009, but she has yet to win one.
"It will be a very tough match. It's a final," Hradecka said. "She will have the crowd support. I will try my best. I've played her once on hardcourts in Montréal. I won. I remember it was a close match. We'll see what happens.
"I have never won a WTA tournament. Tomorrow I will try everything that I can do. Hopefully I will play very well like today."
Cornet is looking to become the second Frenchwoman after Aravane Rezai in 2009 to win Strasbourg, and Hradecka is looking to become the third Czech after Jana Novotna in 1989 and Nicole Vaidisova in 2006.
The doubles final was also set, as Cara Black and Marina Erakovic will square off with Kimiko Date-Krumm and Chanelle Scheepers. Date-Krumm will be looking for her fifth WTA doubles title since turning 40.