The inaugural Tenerife Ladies Open will feature a final between two of this season's up-and-coming stars, as 19-year-old Camila Osorio of Colombia and 21-year-old Ann Li of the United States will face off for the title.
Osorio and Li were ranked World No.190 and World No.112 respectively one year ago; now they are both edging towards the Top 50 and have each reached multiple finals this season.
Osorio upset No.4 seed Camila Giorgi of Italy, 6-4, 7-5, to move into her second final of the season. Osorio was down by a break in both sets before charging back each time to collect the 94-minute victory.
Words from the winner: "The match was really tough, so intense," World No.63 Osorio said on court, after her win. "I’ve never run that much before in my life, I think! I’m super happy with my win today.
"At the beginning she was serving so good, everything was first serve, and it was tough for me to return. But somehow I found the rhythm, and I started doing better and better."
Fast facts: The pair had a matching 19 winners apiece, but Giorgi was undone by nine more unforced errors than Osorio. The Colombian was also a perfect 4-for-4 on break points, while this year's Montreal champion Giorgi could only convert two of her eight break points.
Osorio had never reached a tour-level quarterfinal on hardcourt before this week, but she kicked off the event by earning the first Top 10 win of her career over World No.6 Elina Svitolina, and kept rolling from there.
The Colombian teen is now a win away from her second WTA singles title. Osorio claimed her first WTA singles title on home soil on the clay courts of Bogota earlier this season, besting Tamara Zidansek in the final.
Key moments: Osorio saved four break points in the opening game, but Giorgi grabbed an early break later to lead 3-2. However, the Italian squandered a 40-0 lead at 4-3, and she dropped that game with a double fault, allowing Osorio back to parity. The Colombian grasped her opportunity, winning the last four games of the set overall.
In the second set, Osorio saved two more break points before holding for 4-3, but once again, Giorgi took her shot the next time around, using a dipping backhand to force an error and break for 5-4.
Giorgi, though, could not serve out the set, as nimble play by Osorio drew errors from the power-hitting Italian to get the set back level at 5-5. Osorio used deft shots to continue pulling miscues from Giorgi, and the teen was rewarded with another break in the final game, as she won the last four games of the set again.
Second final of the year 💥— wta (@WTA) October 23, 2021
Ann Li takes out Cornet in straight-sets for a place in the Tenerife Ladies Open final! pic.twitter.com/JSxBNQD6qk
Li will be Osorio's final opponent, after the American powered through the first semifinal of the day by dispatching Alizé Cornet of France, 6-2, 6-1 in an hour and 23 minutes.
Quotes from Li: “[Cornet and I have] played twice before, and they’ve always been battles,” Li said in her on-court interview, after improving her head-to-head against Cornet to 2-1. “I knew I had to be aggressive from the start to the finish. She always gets to a lot of balls, so it’s about being patient as well. That made the difference today.
“It’s been an interesting year, but I think I’ve gotten stronger mentally, physically, and overall my game, so I’m excited to play tomorrow. Hopefully I can bring my best performance tomorrow.”
Stat corner: With her dominant victory, World No.60 Li is into her second WTA singles final. She made her maiden final earlier this year at the Grampians Trophy in Melbourne, but the championship match against Anett Kontaveit was not played due to scheduling delays prior to the Australian Open.
Li will now have another chance to seal a title after easing past former World No.11 Cornet. The American blasted her way to victory, with her 30 winners successfully outpacing her 24 unforced errors. Li’s winner count exactly tripled Cornet's total of 10.
Tale of the match: Li took the early advantage after crushing an overhead winner to break Cornet at love for 3-1. Li survived two break points in the next game to consolidate for 4-1, then used another overhead winner to break Cornet again at 5-2 and close out the one-set lead.
The American grabbed the lead for good as she broke Cornet for 3-1 in the second set, in a lengthy game where the Frenchwoman was undone by three double faults.
An even longer tussle occurred at 4-1, where Li saw her first seven break points of that game fended off by a tenacious Cornet. But Cornet was never able to get to game point, and Li at last converted her eighth break point of the game, en route to the routine victory.
Doubles domination: The Tenerife doubles final was also contested on Saturday, and No.4 seeds Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway and Ellen Perez of Australia claimed the title with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No.3 seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and Marta Kostyuk, both of Ukraine.
The week proved to be a brilliant team debut for the first-time pairing of Eikeri, ranked World No.72 in doubles, and Perez, the 45th-ranked doubles player.
Eikeri and Perez needed 70 minutes to collect the straight-set win. The champions converted seven of their 11 break points after winning 56 percent of points while returning serve.
It is the first WTA doubles title for Eikeri, in her second career final. She finished runner-up alongside Valentini Grammatikopoulou earlier this year in Lausanne.
This week marks Perez's third career WTA doubles title, and second of the year. She teamed with fellow Aussie Astra Sharma to collect the title in Guadalajara this season.
Five straight breaks of serve opened the final, but it was Eikeri and Perez who steadied themselves by the end of the opening set, winning four of the last five games.
Another stretch of breaks occurred in the middle of the second set, where five of six games went to the returning team, but Eikeri and Perez came out of that run holding a 5-3 lead. In the next game, the pair combined for a love hold of Perez's service to clinch the crown.