Laura Pigossi ousted No.1 seed and defending champion Camila Osorio 7-5, 7-6(2) in 2 hours and 11 minutes to reach the first Hologic WTA Tour final of her career at the Copa Colsanitas presentado por Zurich. She was joined by Tatjana Maria, who made it an all-qualifier final after defeating Kamilla Rakhimova 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour and 22 minutes.
Pigossi held off attempted comebacks from an injury-struck Osorio in both sets, having led 5-1 in the first and 5-3 in the second. The home favourite needed to take two medical timeouts, and resorted to underarm serves in the closing stages of the match.
Pigossi, 27, had only competed in two previous WTA main draws, Rio de Janeiro 2014 and Florianopolis 2016, losing in the first round of both. However, 2021 had been a career-best season for the Brazilian, highlighted by a shock bronze medal in doubles at the Tokyo Olympic Games alongside Luisa Stefani. In singles, she also scored her best year-end ranking of No.218 after compiling a 47-21 record on the ITF World Tour.
In Bogota, No.212-ranked Pigossi faced match point in her first qualifying match before beating Daniela Vismane 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, and saved another three en route to defeating Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3) in the quarterfinals. Her upset of Osorio was her first victory over a Top 100 player.
BIG from Pigossi 👏— wta (@WTA) April 9, 2022
🇧🇷 @laurapigossi gets past Bogota top seed Osorio to advance to her first WTA final!#CopaColsanitas2022 pic.twitter.com/dkAdy9cooL
Match management: Osorio required the trainer to work on her leg and back area in each set, and visibly struggled with the injury throughout the match. The World No.33 struggled to generate power on her backhand and serve, and resorted to almost exclusive underarm deliveries in her last two service games and the second-set tiebreak.
But Osorio's fighting spirit remained as strong as ever in front of her home crowd, and she pulled off several brilliant all-court winners as she chipped away at Pigossi's lead in each set. The Colombian saved the first four match points she faced - two serving at 3-5, one returning at 5-6 and another in the tiebreak - two with underarm service winners.
However, Pigossi remained resilient. Opting for a strategy of relentless consistency and finding only eight winners to Osorio's 17, she never went away, and took advantage when Osorio finally ran out of gas. Having levelled at 5-5 in the first set, two double faults in the next game helped undo Osorio's comeback; in the second set, she fell away in the tiebreak with a sequence of errors.
Maria makes second career final, first as mother-of-two
Former World No.46 Maria enjoyed her career-best results as a mother on tour, notably winning her first title at Mallorca 2018. The German, who gave birth to second daughter Cecilia in April 2021 and returned to action in August last year, continued a dominant run through the main draw to reach her second WTA final.
Maria, 34, has lost just 17 games in four main-draw matches this week - though she was stretched all the way in beating Barbara Gatica 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in the final round of qualifying. She had won her biggest title in four years at the Rome ITF W60 in January, and at No.237 is the lowest-ranked player to reach a WTA final since No.272 Eugenie Bouchard at Istanbul 2020.
And suddenly that name will never be the same 🎶— wta (@WTA) April 9, 2022
🇩🇪 @Maria_Tatjana reaches her first WTA singles final since 2018 with victory over Rakhimova in Bogota!#CopaColsanitas2022 pic.twitter.com/myfnhi2odQ
Throughout the match, Maria used her trademark slices off both wings to keep first-time WTA semifinalist Rakhimova off balance. Targeting the 20-year-old's backhand side relentlessly, Maria drew 29 unforced errors from Rakhimova while committing a meagre two herself.
Maria also came up with some spectacular moments of creativity when she needed to, countering a Rakhimova dropshot with a viciously sidespun response and catching her off-guard with a rare driven backhand pass. Maria's serve, which garnered her five aces, was also a crucial weapon.
No.111-ranked Rakhimova delivered intermittent excellence of her own, but was undone by seven double faults and a lack of consistency. She will nonetheless break the Top 100 for the first time next week.
The final between Pigossi and Maria will be the first WTA title match between qualifiers since Lyon 2021, where Clara Tauson defeated Viktorija Golubic; and the first between two players outside the Top 100 since Gdynia 2021, where Maryna Zanevska defeated Kristina Kucova. It will be the first WTA final between players ranked outside the Top 200 since the inception of the computer rankings.