Katerina Siniakova advanced to the first final of her career by dethroning the reigning Ericsson Open champion Johanna Larsson on Saturday.
WTA Staff

BASTAD, Sweden - Katerina Siniakova advanced to the first final of her career by dethroning home favorite and reigning Ericsson Open champion Johanna Larsson on Saturday.

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A relative novice at this stage of a WTA event and faced with an unashamedly partisan crowd, Siniakova took some time to find her bearings. However, once she had the Czech produced some sparkling tennis to run out a 7-5, 6-1 winner and set up a Sunday showdown with Laura Siegemund.

"It was a really hard match, I just tried to focus on every point and I think I played pretty well," Siniakova said. "Maybe in the beginning I was a little bit nervous, so there were a few more mistakes, but from there my performance was better so I'm really happy."

Having frozen when serving for the opening set at 5-3, Siniakova showed no hesitancy when another chance presented itself, thundering a backhand into the corner to bring up two set points. Larsson ballooned a drive volley long to surrender the set.

In addition to her title run last year, Larsson was a finalist on home soil in 2011 and 2013, but she never looked like adding to this tally in the second set, Siniakova establishing an early lead and never looking back.

Siniakova, whose previous semifinal appearance ended in defeats in Moscow and Prague, was understandably elated at clearing this hurdle at the third time of asking: "It's really exciting. I think it will be a really tough match, hopefully we will both show great tennis. I think I will be nervous, but this is normal. I will just have to try my best, fight for every point and see how it goes."

Like Siniakova, Siegemund took some time to find her groove, weathering an early storm of winners to see off Julia Goerges. Siegemund had already reached semifinals on the clay this year, in Stuttgart and Bucharest, and despite falling behind early on refused to get disheartened against her powerful compatriot.

While she was unable to rescue the first set, she hit back to take a high-quality second then forge ahead in the third. Trailing 4-6, 6-3, 4-0, Goerges body admitted defeat, a hip injury bringing an entertaining contest to a premature end.

"It was very tough - she started out very strongly in the first set. I tried to be solid but it was not enough, she was really the better player at the beginning and I needed to step it up," Siegemund said. "I felt good out there today, I felt confident to be a bit more risky and go for my shots."

Until recently, Siegemund existed in a different world on the tennis circuit to some of her more celebrated compatriots. A memorable run all the way through qualifying to the final in Stuttgart changed all this and on Sunday she has the opportunity to further cement her place among the elite.