GSTAAD, Switzerland - Top seed Alizé Cornet advanced to her first WTA singles final in over a year at the Ladies' Championship Gstaad as Eugenie Bouchard was forced to retire from their semifinal match due to injury.
After claiming a tightly-contested opener in a tiebreak, Cornet secured a break to begin the second set before the Canadian made the decision to reitre from the match with the score standing at 7-6(5), 1-0.
The Frenchwoman will contest the final match of a tournament for the first time since finishing runner-up at the Brisbane International last January,
"The first set was really tight. She was playing very well and very aggressive. I couldn't see that she was injured, but I'm very happy that I won the first set," Cornet said after the match.
"You never know, if she had won the first set, maybe she would have kept going. She was playing amazing. I'm glad to be in the final...and I hope I can get to the trophy."
Cornet fell behind an early break in the opening set, as Bouchard was the first of the two players to break in the third game of the match. However, the French No.2 hit back immediately, winning four straight points from a 40-15 deficit to get back on serve, where the set stayed for the duration.
Both players were made to work hard prior to a tiebreak, however, as Cornet saved four break points in a key seventh game, while Bouchard erased three set points for the top seed in the 10th.
The early action in the ensuing tiebreak was also all about the return, as five of the first seven points went against the server. However, it was Cornet who was first to settle, winning both points on serve for the first time en route to converting her third set point.
Cornet will look to win her first title in over two years as she takes on first-time singles finalist Mandy Minella on Saturday. The woman from Luxembourg came from a set down to defeat Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in the semifinals, reaching a singles final at WTA level less than a year after giving birth to a daughter in October.
The Frenchwoman was full of praise for what the 32-year-old has accomplished this week.
"I was congratulating her after each of her matches. Being a mom, it's not easy - it's such a comeback," Cornet said.
"She won already, like, two or three ITF titles and now she's in the final here. I saw her play and she's definitely very dangerous. I will have to give my best, and it's definitely a fun final against a nice girl."