TIANJIN, China – Rebecca Peterson completed a hard-fought 0-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Ons Jabeur to progress to the final of the Tianjin Open following an encounter that lasted two hours nine minutes.

It was the Tunisian, who was aiming for her second WTA Tour final, who drew first blood, running away with the opening set, but Peterson rallied to take the second.

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WTA World No.61 Jabeur took the ascendancy early in the third but her opponent rallied, winning six of the last eight games to move through to her second final of this Asian swing, having already won in Nanchang.

“Today was a really tough match,” the Swede admitted. “She played well, I couldn’t find my rhythm and I had to fight for every point so I’m happy that I got the win in the end.”

That did not look too liked after she was the victim of a bagel in the opening set, though in truth the scoreline did not reflect how tight and encounter this was. All of the first five games went as far as deuce, but it was Jabeur who consistently had the answers in these situations.

Peterson rejected claims that it was the comparatively cold weather of around 19°C (67 °F) that had caused her to make such a sluggish start.

“I’m from Sweden, so the cold weather’s not something new for me. I felt like I was home!” she joked.

Certainly, she looked more comfortable thereafter, getting on the board at the start of the second set with a service hold to love. 

Although the scoreline suggested that the second was a tighter set, many of the games were more one-sided in favor of the server. After seven successive holds, though, Peterson snapped the run by breaking for the first time, and though she was unable to serve out the set, she got a second break to draw level.

The players exchanged love games at the start of the decider before Jabeur broke at the second attempt. Peterson squandered a couple of opportunities to hit immediately back but did level in the sixth game.

From there, both players held serve and a decisive tiebreak looked likely before Peterson raised her level decisively at the last and is now looking forward to a second final of the year.

“At the end of the season, everyone feels that their body is sore and they are tired. I’m going to recover as well as I can and for sure I’ll be ready for tomorrow,” she said ahead of that meeting with Heather Watson.