'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands - CoCo Vandeweghe has been tested throughout the week at the Topshelf Open, in qualifying and in the main draw, but recorded an impressive straight set defeat of No.8 seed Klara Koukalova to make her second WTA final.
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Vandeweghe didn't have to wait long for revenge after losing to Koukalova in a tight three-setter last week in the second round of Birmingham. As has been the case for her all week, her serve was the difference on Friday. She fired nine aces and was 26 of 31 on first serve points, while fighting off the lone break point she faced, en route to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
"It was a good, clean match," Vandeweghe said of her win over Koukalova. "Last week I lost to her in a tough three-setter after serving for the match, so I definitely looked at it as a revenge match. To get that win in a semifinal is a really fun feeling.
"I'm totally happy and elated. It's been a good year so far. I'm looking forward to playing in the final."
Vandeweghe said these last few weeks have served as great preparation for Wimbledon, where she drew Garbiñe Muguruza as her first round opponent. She just beat the Spaniard in the quarterfinals here on Thursday.
"I've played so many matches on grass from Birmingham to here in Holland," Vandeweghe said. "I couldn't ask for a better way to get ready."
While Vandeweghe has been extended to three sets once in qualifying and twice in the main draw this week, fellow finalist Zheng Jie has yet to surrender a set. She raced out to a 5-1 first set lead and a 4-1 second set lead in her 56-minute, 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Magdalena Rybarikova. She was also dominant on her first serve, winning 23 of those 27 points. After losing her first two meetings with Rybarikova, Zheng has now won three straight in their head-to-head.
Zheng, who was victorious in her last WTA final in Auckland in 2012, takes a 4-2 record in WTA finals into Saturday's showdown. This will be the USANA Ambassador's first WTA grass court final, though she was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2008. Vandeweghe was runner-up at Stanford in 2012 in her one previous WTA final.
Both of Vandeweghe and Zheng's previous encounters occurred in 2011, and they split the pair, with both being three-setters.
The doubles final was also played Friday, with fourth-seeded Marina Erakovic and Arantxa Parra Santonja edging third-seeded Michaella Krajicek and Kristina Mladenovic, 0-6, 7-6, 10-8, for their first WTA title as a duo. The Kiwi-Spanish pairing rallied from a 6-0, 5-2 deficit and fought off three match points.