No.3 seed Alizé Cornet advanced to her first final of the season after defeating No.2 seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Jasmin Open Monastir. Cornet will face Elise Mertens in the final. The Belgian advanced to her first final of the season as well after defeating Claire Liu 6-4, 6-0 in the second semifinal. 

A late wildcard into the tournament, No.37 Cornet is into her first final since 2021 Chicago without losing a set, beating Laura Pigossi, Harriet Dart, Tamara Zidansek, and Kudermetova. The 32-year-old Frenchwoman is bidding to win her first title since 2018 Gstaad and her first on a hard court since 2016 Hobart. 

How Ons Jabeur brought tennis home to Tunisia at the Jasmin Open

Monastir: Cornet beats Kudermetova to advance to 1st final of 2022

After falling behind a quick 2-0 in the first set, Cornet reeled in Kudermetova with her physical work behind the baseline. Ranked No.12 and in the hunt for a qualifying position at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Kudermetova was bidding to advance to her fourth final of the season. But she could not overcome her own frailties, particularly on the forehand side, giving away 50 unforced errors to 20 winners in the two-set match. 

In the face of Kudermetova's erratic play, Cornet stayed focused and solid to keep the pressure on. While Kudermetova generated 11 break points, she converted just twice. Cornet was far more poised, breaking on four of her nine break points. The Frenchwoman finished the match with eight winners to 24 unforced errors.

"It was a bit windy," Cornet said. "I think I handled the conditions a bit better. She was maybe rushing a little bit into her shots sometimes. She had so many break points, and I think I was mentally really solid. I served well each time, just really solid."

Like Cornet, Mertens has enjoyed a resurgent week in Tunisia. Now ranked No.42, Mertens is into her first final since 2021 Istanbul and is bidding to win her first title since the 2021 Gippsland Trophy. Mertens needed just an hour and 12 minutes to get past Liu in the semifinals, converting all five break points she earned to seal a dominating win. 

Cornet and Mertens are set to face off for the fifth time in their careers, with the head-to-head locked at 2-2. Mertens won their last meeting earlier this year in St. Petersburg, edging Cornet 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. 

With her run to the semifinals, Kudermetova will rise to No.9 on the Race to the WTA Finals leaderboard on Monday. She will head to America for the San Diego Open, which begins on Monday. She faces Sloane Stephens in the first round.