GSTAAD, Switzerland - Luxembourg's Mandy Minella reached the first WTA singles final of her career at the Ladies' Championship Gstaad on Saturday, rallying from a set down to defeat Czech Marketa Vondrousova, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Despite dropping her first set of the tournament against the Czech teenager, Minella largely outsteadied the 19-year-old over the course of the second and third sets break new ground at the age of 32.
"I'm shaking, but I'm still very happy," Minella said after the match. "She got me on the back foot from the beginning. She played very fast, so I didn't feel as good as the other days because I didn't have time to play. It was just different, and I had to fight into the match."
After not facing a break point in the opening set, Vondrousova dropped serve twice in each of the next two to succumb to defeat in 97 minutes.
Minella was hardly threatened on serve in the second and third sets - never facing break point herself - to deny the Czech the opportunity to reach her first final since winning her first WTA title in Biel-Bienne last April.
Though she's won two career WTA doubles titles in her career, Minella was previously 0-4 in her previous appearances in a singles semifinal at tour-level. She does own one WTA 125K singles title, having triumphed at the inaugural edition of the Croatia Bol Open two years ago.
Luxembourg's top player will next attempt to become the third mother in the span of 12 months to win a WTA singles title, after Kateryna Bondarenko triumphed in Tashkent last fall, and Tatjana Maria won her first career title at the Mallorca Open in June.
She will face the winner of the second semifinal between top seed Alizé Cornet and Eugenie Bouchard.
"I played very good against [Johanna] Larsson and [Sara] Sorribes, so from the the tennis I played...I'm evolving, and I'm really happy how it's going," she added. "I've played both of them before. They're two great players, and I'm happy to play both of them."