No.2 seed Elisabetta Cocciaretto of Italy worked extremely hard to get into her second final of 2023, outlasting Hungary's Anna Bondar 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 7-5 in the clay-court Ladies Open Lausanne semifinals on Saturday.
Cocciaretto, the World No.42 and top-ranked Italian, saved a match point at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreak en route to prevailing after 3 hours and 34 minutes of play -- and a nearly equal amount of time spent waiting out three separate rain delays.
"It was maybe the craziest match of my life, for the rain, for the match point, for everything," Cocciaretto said after her win. "I came here without expectations, just to play matches, and I am in the final. So I will play another match and I am grateful for that."
Photo Gallery: Great Escapes 2023: Winning from match point down
Cocciaretto is the first player to win three tour-level matches from match point down during the 2023 season. She has done it twice this week alone, having also saved match point against Celine Naef in her Lausanne opener.
With the grueling victory, Cocciaretto matches her career-best showing at a Hologic WTA Tour event. She reached her first singles final at Hobart in January, where she finished runner-up to Lauren Davis.
Cocciaretto's opponent in Sunday's championship match will be former Lausanne finalist Clara Burel. World No.84 Burel overcame her fellow Frenchwoman Diane Parry 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in a Saturday night semifinal.
In a battle between rising French players who were each ranked World No.1 on the junior circuit, it was 22-year-old Burel who got the better of 20-year-old Parry in 2 hours and 28 minutes. Burel now leads Parry 2-0 at Hologic WTA Tour-level.
Burel reached her first career WTA singles final at this very event two years ago, finishing as runner-up to Tamara Zidansek. Until this week, Burel had not made a tour-level semifinal since that breakthrough, but she has exhibited winning form in Lausanne once again.
On Saturday, Burel executed some stellar net-rushing putaways down the stretch of the second set to level the match at one set apiece. Parry narrowed a third-set deficit from 5-1 to 5-3 before Burel broke serve to close out the win.
Cocciaretto defeated Burel 6-2, 6-4 in their only previous meeting, which came on clay at WTA 125 Makarska last season.