MONTERREY, Mexico - No.9 seed Marie Bouzkova punched a ticket through to her first career WTA singles final with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No.2 seed Johanna Konta at the Abierto GNP Seguros.
The 21-year-old Czech has long has success on Mexican soil since turning professional, but a one hour and 41-minute victory semifinal over the World No.16 in her second tour-level semifinal earned her a latest career milestone.
The former US Open junior champion made her WTA debut in Acapulco in 2015, reached the final of the WTA 125 Series event in Guadalajara last year, and won two ITF tournaments in the country in her career so far, and has not lost a set this week in four matches.
The World No.57 saved all five break points she faced in the match, and broke Konta once in each set, to set up a date with either top seed Elina Svitolina or unseeded Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands to win her first tour-level title.
After earning the first break of serve to lead 4-2, Bouzkova later saved a break point as she served out the opener in just under 40 minutes, and held off a game effort from the British No.1 in a second set that lasted the vicinity of an hour.
After receiving a medical timeout between sets to get treatment on her knee, Konta battled on bravely in the second set as she sought to extend the match.
The three-time Grand Slam semifinalist saved three break points total in her first and fifth service games of the second set, but after Bouzkova denied the former World No.4 two chances to lead 5-3, the Czech ultimately won the last three games of the match.
The victory was Bouzkova's fourth career win against a Top 20 player, but just the second that finished as a completed match.
Last summer, the 21-year-old Czech, then ranked World No.91, had a stunning run to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto as a qualifier, in which she racked up victories against Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep -- the latter by retirement.
"I love to play in Mexico. I always get so much love here," an emotional Bouzkova said through tears after the match, earning a big round of applause from the Mexican fans.
"It's an amazing feeling and I feel like I'm playing at home. I'm really excited to be in the final tomorrow."