For the first time in four years, Serbia's Olga Danilovic will play for a WTA singles title after beating Anastasia Potapova in the semifinals at the Ladies Open Lausanne, 6-3, 6-2.
At age 17 in 2018, Danilovic became the first player born in the 2000s to win a WTA title when she triumphed at the WTA 250 Moscow River Cup. Her opponent that day? Potapova. The 7–5, 6–7(1), 6–4 final between the two then-teens was the first championship match between two players under 18 in 13 years.
When they met again Saturday, Danilovic dominated: She broke Potapova's serve five times in 70 minutes, winning the last three games of the first set and the last four of the second set. She's the fifth qualifier to reach a WTA final this year, and looks to win the title after saving a match point in her second round win against Anna Kalinskaya.
"From the beginning to the end, it was a really tough one," Danilovic said in victory. "Maybe the result doesn't say so. I'm really happy with how I played. I think I was very consistent ... and it was a good result for me.
"It was just a couple of points that [made the difference]. I was just playing point by point, being calm, and believing in myself."
In the final, Danilovic will play a resurgent Petra Martic, who's through to her first final in nearly three years. The Croatian hadn't lost a set this week coming into the semifinals, and followed up a quarterfinal win over No. 2 seed Belinda Bencic with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia.
From the archives: Danilovic goes from lucky loser to champion in Moscow
Martic hadn't won a set against Garcia in three previous meetings, but the pair hadn't played since 2018. Now ranked No. 85, the former World No. 14 is bidding for her second career title in her fifth career final. She also won her first title on clay: in Istanbul, Turkey in 2019.
"It's a big deal for me ... it's been a while since I've been in a final," Martic said. "I was just happy that I managed to raise my level from one match to another. Today, I played my best match and my best tennis when it was needed.
"Olga's a great player, another aggressive player, likes to be close to the baseline like Caroline. I think it's going to be a very similar match-up like today. I have to focus on my game and just enjoy the finals."
Danilovic and Martic have played once previously: Danilovic upset then-No. 16 seed Martic in the first round of last year's Australian Open.
"It's just another match," Danilovic said. "I'm just going to go out there and give what I have in me. I like it here, the conditions are good for me, so we'll see."