Top seed Jelena Ostapenko recovered from a set down to dispatch surging qualifier Luksika Kumkhum and reach her third final of 2017 at the KEB Hana Bank-Incheon Airport Korea Open.
WTA Staff
September 23, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea - Top seed Jelena Ostapenko weathered the storm from an on-fire Luksika Kumkhum to win, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 and reach her first hardcourt final of the season at the KEB Hana Bank-Incheon Airport Korea Open.

"I'm feeling great, and I'm playing pretty good this week," Ostatpenko said after the match. "She was going for her shots, playing aggressive and I'm really happy I came back in the third set to win the match."

The World No.10 reached her first WTA final since her shock French Open win the hard way, as she trailed by a break in the decider.

She fell behind an early break in the opener at 3-0, and the Thai qualifier kept her edge for the duration to take a one-set lead.

"I changed a little bit the way I played," Ostapenko said of how she changed things after the first set. "She was so aggressive, so I had less time, and I think the tactics that I changed a little bit helped me win the match. The first couple of games, I couldn't really get used to her game, because she was hitting fast with great angles.

"I think I showed my best game in the deciding moments, and I think that helped me the most. I was 3-0 down and I really fought and played my best until the last game."

After serving at just 37% for the first set, Ostapenko turned her tennis around in a dominant second set, in which she broke Kumkhum's serve twice and saved all five break points set faced.

"It is my first time here and I'm really enjoying my time here. I'm going to go out there, try to be more confident and play my game [in the final]."
Jelena Ostapenko

Ostapenko will face breakout Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in Sunday's championship, as the lefty defeated Richel Hogenkamp, 6-1, 7-6(7) in the first semifinal of the day. 

Unseeded in Seoul, Haddad Maia rallied from a set down in her first match against Ukrainian wildcard Katarina Zatavska, and also needed three sets to defeat No.5 seed Irina-Camelia Begu in the second round.

"I'm very happy, this is my first time in Asia and Korea, so it's very special for me. Every match was really tough, I was losing sets then I came back, so I think I'm ready for tomorrow," Haddad Maia said.

"Begu, she's seeded and she plays fast like me. It's tough when you have a stronger girl, like Ostapenko -- the girl who plays aggressive has the chance to win the match."

Read more: Getting to know Beatriz Haddad Maia

The two rising stars will face off for the first time in their careers on Sunday, as the 20-year-old Ostapenko looks to deny 21-year-old Hadda Maia her first career title.