Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka quelled the hopes of home favorite Stefanie Voegele to reach her second career WTA final at the Samsung Open presented by cornèr.
WTA Staff
April 14, 2018

LUGANO, Switzerland - Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka ended the hopes of home favorite Stefanie Voegele at the Samsung Open presented by cornèr on Friday, advancing to her second career WTA final with a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory.

It was the second two-set victory for Sabalenka on the afternoon, as the 19-year-old had previously defeated Italy's Camila Giorgi in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 6-0.

The teenager enjoyed contrasting passage into Sunday's final than her foe in tomorrow's match, No.2 seed Elise Mertens, who came from behind in two three-setters to reach the championship.

Read more: Marvelous Mertens wins twice to reach Lugano final

"It was a tough today, because of two matches in one day - especially against players with two different kinds of play," Sabalenka said after the semifinal.

"[Giorgi] plays really fast, and the second match, she tried to spin, slice, hard and slow and whatever. It was a tough day - a tough week because of the rain...I try to not care about the conditions and play as fast as I can before the rain - but it was really tough, and cold!"

Sabalenka dominated over the course of the 71-minute encounter against Voegele, winning over 70 percent of the points played on her first serve and only facing one break point in the second set.

The teenager's lone blip in the victory came late in the opener, as she served for it first at 5-2 only to see Voegele break for the second time in four return games in the set.

The World No.119, who saved match points in her second round win against No.6 seed Alizé Cornet on Friday and ended the run of German qualifier Tamara Korpatsch in her quarterfinal, continued to battle, but Sabalenka served out a one-set lead in her second opportunity.

After securing a set and a break lead with her fourth break of the match, this one at love, early in the second set, Sabalenka faced her lone break point in the second set in the fourth game, but duly saved it and later added an insurance break to win.

While Mertens has battled her way into the championship with a trio of three-set matches, World No.61 Sabalenka has dropped just one set en route to the final, conserving energy in a rainy week in Lugano.

The Belarusian reached her first career final on hard courts last fall, where she fell in a tight two-setter to Maria Sharapova at the Tianjin Open, and this week marks the first clay court final for Sabalenka in her career at any level. 

"It was a tough preparation for the clay season - last year, I only won two matches on clay, and this year I have to work really hard to play really good on clay courts, so it's really worked," Sabalenka said. "I just focus on every ball, every game, every shot."

Sabalenka later ensured that she and Mertens will also face off in the doubles final, also winning her third match of the day. She and compatriot Vera Lapko partnered to defeat No.2 seeds Alicija Rosolska and Abigail Spears, 6-2, 3-6, 10-7.