TAIPEI, Taiwan – No.2 seed Timea Babos will face No.3 seed Vitalia Diatchenko in the final of the Taipei OEC Open after the pair won their semifinal encounters against Viktoriya Tomova and top-seeded Danka Kovinic respectively in straight sets.
In the opening semifinal, WTA World No.108 Diatchenko, a semifinalist in Taipei 12 months ago, had her rhythm locked in on her return throughout.
She moved into the early ascendancy by breaking at the first opportunity, and though she lost a run of three games in succession immediately after, she responded powerfully by winning four straight to take the first set.
The momentum she had gathered by taking the opener continued into the second. Although she squandered a 0-40 advantage in the opening game to be drawn back to deuce, she secured another break to set the foundation for her to establish a 5-0 lead.
By the time the No.1 seed responded in the sixth game, saving a match point and the ignominy of suffering a bagel, it was too late. Kovinic, who later moved into the doubles final with partner Dalila Jakupovic, got another game on the board, but at the second opportunity Diatchenko served out to love.
Babos, the WTA World No.104, took just 67 minutes to dispatch No.8 seed Tomova, 6-1, 6-2.
After the first couple of games of the match were shared, Hungarian Babos put her foot on the accelerator and won five successive games, including two tight ones against the serve.
Tomova’s prospects took another blow in the opening game of the second set as she found herself facing three break points. She managed to save the first two but was ultimately broken for a third time in succession.
The Bulgarian hit back by breaking Babos for the first and only time of the match, but she continued to struggle with her higher-ranked opponent’s return and rapidly fell into deficit once more.
That proved to be the decisive blow as Babos would drop only one more game before serving out to seal a spot in the final, saving three break points along the way.