'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands - Top seed Kiki Bertens continued to thrill the locals at the Libéma Open on Saturday, and the Dutch No.1 will play for her first tour-level title on home soil.
The World No.4 and Dutch No.1 recorded a 6-4, 6-4 semifinal victory over Kazakh qualifier Elena Rybakina to reach her third final of the season.
The champion in St. Petersburg and Madrid, Bertens will face American Alison Riske for her third title of the season.
"It was tough because I didn't know her. It's always tough to play someone you've never played before," Bertens said.
"She's had some good wins here, so I'm just really happy to be in the final of my home tournament."
Bertens put the teenager under pressure early on in each set, as she broke in Rybakina's first service game.
Rybakina hung tough, however, as she broke Bertens for the first time in the four game of the opener, and held to love to take her first lead.
Bertens raised her level to win the next three games and kept the teenager at bay for the rest of the match, as she held off a late charge from Rybakina to seal the victory.
Bertens and Riske have played three times in singles in their careers, with the Dutchwoman taking all three meetings, including this year at the Australian Open.
Though they've never played in singles on grass, they will be playing for the second time this week at the Libéma Open: Bertens and partner Demi Schuurs beat Riske and Christina McHale in the first round of the doubles draw, 3-6, 6-2, 11-9.
"She's a great grass court player," Bertens said. "It's going to be really tough, but I think it's going to be a great final."