Tashkent, September 29: Second seeded Timea Babos of Hungary placed herself in line for a Double crown reaching the Singles and the doubles finals at the 19th edition of Tashkent Open WTA Championships being played at the Olympic tennis School in Tashkent.
In the singles final the world no 52 Babos will take on experienced Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine ranked 133 to decide the new champion here.
In the semifinals played on a cold day, 24 year old Hungarian Babos took 1 hr and 6 minutes to record a 6-1, 6-4 win over 119 ranked 19 year old Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus .In the other semis 33 year old Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko won a tight first set against former world No 2 Vera Zvonareva who retired at scores reading 7-6(7) 4-1
In the doubles semi-finals top seeded Babos in tandem with Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic scored a 6-2, 6-3 win over fourth seeds Irina Khromacheva of Russia and Ipek Soylu of Turkey. Second seeds Nao Hibino of Japan and Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia saved three match points o overcome third seeds Kateryna Bondarenko and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia upset 6-4,3-6,12-10 .
In the first semifinals Timea Babos raced to win the first set 6-1 . In the second set Babos lead 4-1, but Sabalenka showed signs of a comeback breaking Babos in the 6th game and holding on to the 7th game to narrow lead .. In the 8th game Babos survived two breakpoints , but managed to hold on a edge ahead 5-3 , Sabalenka held on to her 9th game , In the ensuing 10th game Babos served out to win 6-4 and enter her third tour final of the year after Budapest and Quebec City. Babos served 10 aces in the match
Babos who looked solid this week not having lost a set in the tournament yet said " I'm happy to make the finals , in the second set I lost a little intensity and power in my shots but at the end I managed better , I will enjoy playing the finals with Kateryna we have big battles earlier, she has pushed me to play my best tennis , so looking forward to the finals."
Babos who won the doubles title in 2013 with Yaraslova Shvedova , said Its second tournament in row that I'm in the singles finals , last week I was in the doubles finals as well, It’s actually not easy to be playing singles and doubles at same time at the end of the season , but I said I shall give it my push in the last 3-4 events I have left and then can have a well-deserved break .
In the second semifinals Vera Zvonareva Broke Bondarenko in the seventh game to go up 4-3 , Bondarenko broke back in the 10th game to level scores at 5-5 , in the tiebreak Bondarenko missed a set point at 6-5 , and , Zvonerava missed set point serving a double fault at 7-6 and let Bondarenko come back. .
At 7-7 in the tiebreak Bondarenko hit a running cross court winner to gain her second set point and took the set with a blistering forehand down the line to win the set 7-6(9-7) in 58 mins . Zvonerava who qualified for the event looked tired and called for medical help at 1-4 and decided to retire from the match, letting Bondarenko into the finals
"I'm happy with the two matches I played today , I had a tough semis earlier, I played like my coach told me , to keep many balls back in court and go for the winner at the first opportunity, I knew she would be tired too , it was great first set and some good tennis too: I'm not thinking much about the finals but will give all that I have " said Bondarenko after her win
Early in the day after rains forced cancellation of play yesterday, Zvonareva upset sixth seed Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour and 29 minutes, while Kateryna Bondarenko overcame her roller coaster game to get the better of Japanese Kurumi Nara 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in a 2 hr 12 min quarterfinal.
Following are the results ( Quarterfinals Singles)
Q. Vear Zvonareva (Rus) bt Aleksandra Krunic (S.6) 6-4,6-3
Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukr) bt Kurumi Nara ( Jpn) 6-2,5-7,6-4
Timea Babos (S.2) (Hun) bt Aryna Sabalenka (Blr) 6-4,6-3
Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukr) bt (Q) Vera Zvonareva (Rus) 7-6(7),4-1 retd
Semifinals Doubles :
Timea Babos(Hun) / Andrea Hlavackova (Cze)(S.1) bt Irina Khromacheva (Rus)/ Ipek Soylu (Tur) (S.4) 6-2,6-3
Nao Hibino (Jpn)/ Oksana Kalashnikova ( Geo) (S.2) bt
Date of Birth: 10 Jan 1986
Birthplace: Geel, Belgium
Height: 5’ 5" (1.65 m)
WTA Singles Ranking – 72 (As of August 14, 2017)
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