QUEBEC CITY, Canada - No.3 seed Timea Babos will meet No.7 seed Alison Van Uytvanck in her second WTA final of the year at the Coupe Banque Nationale after edging past Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
The top seed Safarova came into their semifinal matchup with a 2-1 their head-to-head record 2-1, but Babos had scored the most recent win earlier this year, beating the Czech in three sets to capture her hometown title at Budapest.
Babos made it two in a row in Quebec City, battling past the Czech in a close 7-6(8), 6-4 clash after an hour and 42 minutes.
The Hungarian was under pressure for most of the first set - Safarova was flawless in her first 4 service games, not dropping a single point, and routinely pushed Babos to 30 and deuce.
But amazingly, Babos squeezed out of trouble time and again, and managed to not face a single break point. Instead, at 6-5, the Hungarian created the first break point chance of the match - as well as set point - when Safarova’s form finally let down.
In the tiebreaker, Babos once again brought up the first chances to take the set after pulling away from Safarova - but her opponent clawed her way back, even holding a set point herself - before finally converting her sixth set point.
The second set unfolded in the same fashion - Babos and Safarova started off in a tight deadlock before Babos finally broke through late in the set, earning the first break at 4-3. She marched ahead to bring up four match points on Safarova’s serve, before finally closing out the match a game later.
Through to her second WTA final of the year, Babos will face the No.7 seed Alison Van Uytvanck for the Quebec City title.
Van Uytvanck took down No.4 seed Tatjana Maria in a one-sided semifinal, needing just over an hour to score a 6-1, 6-2 victory over the German and reach her first WTA-level final of her career.
Maria had narrowly won their only meeting on carpet a year ago at the Taipei WTA 125K Series Event, edging through in three sets.
But in their semifinal on Saturday, Van Uytvanck reeled off nine games in a row across the first and second sets, breaking Maria five times and batting away the lone break point she faced.
Maria looked increasingly frustrated and created more unforced errors as the match went on, going for bigger shots and letting Van Uytvanck hang back and retrieve.
More to follow...