SHENZHEN, China - No.5 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova reached her second WTA Tour final with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-2 victory over No.6 seed Garbiñe Muguruza at the Shenzhen Open.
The Russian last made a showpiece in at the Upper Austria Ladies' Linz in the fall of 2018, but will have a second opportunity to win a maiden trophy on Saturday.
It took her only one hour and 16 minutes to beat the 2017 Wimbledon champion, against whom her only previous experience was a 6-2, 6-4 defeat in the first round of that tournament, where the Spaniard won her second major title.
“It was a tough match right from the start. I was calmer than yesterday and that helped a lot," she said, following an encounter in which her power told. "She's a really experienced player. I’m happy I did my best and I hope I can do it tomorrow."
After the first five games all went in favor of the server, the World No.34 moved into the ascendancy after previously going close in both of her opponent’s delivery games.
When asked to serve for the set, she squandered a 40-0 lead and continued the trend of doing things the hard by breaking Muguruza from game point down to seal the opener.
With the momentum of having won the opening set behind her, she then threatened to run away with the second.
Alexandrova’s big groundstrokes increasingly started to find their mark and proved too hot for Muguruza to handle.
Five of the first six games went the Russian’s way as she established a double break, but as was the case in the first set, she suffered a hiccup as she sought to serve to get over the line.
Muguruza then stared down match point on her own serve as a tense game went her way following a four-deuce game.
She was only postponing the inevitable, however, and some more big hitting from Alexandrova brought up three match points, the second of which she took to advance to the final, where she'll face No.7 seed Elena Rybakina.
"I'm feeling great. I'm very excited about the final tomorrow," Alexandrova said. "She's a great player on the rise, who's playing so well, so it's going to be a tough one."