No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and unseeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania will be the first finalists at the inaugural Tennis in the Land event, following their straight-set victories in the Cleveland semifinals on Friday.
Kontaveit eased past No.7 seed Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, 6-4, 6-4, to reach her third final of the season. The World No.30 needed an hour and 45 minutes to dispatch the rapidly improving Spaniard and move into her ninth career final.
The Estonian would love to turn this final appearance into a WTA singles title, as she is 1-6 in championship matches, and won her lone title four years ago in 's-Hertogenbosch.
Quality performance. 🙌— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) August 28, 2021
The Estonian Kontaveit defeats Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-4 and books a spot in the final.
Up next: Begu@TennisInTheLand | #TennisInTheLand pic.twitter.com/h8vXomO9xp
This year, Kontaveit fell in the Eastbourne final to Jelena Ostapenko, and unfortunately the Grampians Trophy final, where she was to face Ann Li, was canceled due to time constraints prior to the start of the Australian Open.
But if her form against World No.43 Sorribes Tormo is a bellwether, Kontaveit could be hoisting the champion's trophy on Saturday. Kontaveit converted four of her seven break points, and she won over half of the points returning the Spaniard's serve to grit out two close sets.
Sorribes Tormo, who won her first WTA singles title in Guadalajara earlier this season, has been stellar on hardcourts all year, and she won her last meeting with Kontaveit at the end of last season in Ostrava.
But Kontaveit used her fiery groundstrokes to power past Sorribes Tormo and improve her head-to-head against the Spaniard to 4-1. Kontaveit ended each of the two sets with a service break to emerge the victor.
The reaction says it all 💪— wta (@WTA) August 27, 2021
🇷🇴 Irina-Camelia Begu outlasts Linette for a place in her first final of the year!#TennisInTheLand pic.twitter.com/uNrdX5bEu3
Begu, meanwhile, also won her match in an hour and 45 minutes, as she upset No.6 seed Magda Linette of Poland, 7-6(5), 6-2. It is a long-awaited return to a WTA singles final for former Top 25 player Begu, who last contested a championship match over four years ago.
Linette, ranked World No.51, had triumphed in all three of her prior encounters with 74th-ranked Begu. But this time around, it was Begu who claimed the victory, firing 11 aces and breaking the Pole's serve five times in the tilt.
Watch the Highlights: Begu upends Linette to make 1st final of year
Begu fought back from an 0-3 deficit in the first set to reel off five straight games, eventually holding set points at 5-3 and 5-4. Linette was able to fend those off and steer her way into a tiebreak, but Begu closed out the set there, before cruising to her first win over the sixth seed.
Begu, who had not passed the quarterfinals of a WTA event this season prior to this week, will now attempt to claim her fifth career WTA singles title. It will be the first meeting between Begu and Kontaveit.