Portoroz Open: Alison Riske and Jasmine Paolini set to open rivalry in final

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Portoroz Open: Alison Riske and Jasmine Paolini set to open rivalry in final

Alison Riske and Jasmine Paolini will play each other in the final of the Portoroz Open on Sunday. Both players posted contrasting victories in their respective semi-finals on Saturday. In the first semi-final, Paolini made a comeback against the second-seeded Yulia Putintseva.

The Italian upset the Kazakh 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 14 minutes. Putintseva dominated the opening set but once Paolini was able to understand the tactics that were put in play by her opponent, she fared better. It also went in Paolini’s favour that Putintseva’s game also unravelled across the latter two sets.

The Italian went on to finish the match with 32 winners. Speaking after her win, the world no. 87 shared, “I think being more patient [was key], because at the beginning I was hitting every ball to make the point, but she defends very good, so I was doing too many mistakes.

Then I tried to be more patient, to play more balls in the court, to be in the point, and I think that was the key”.

Portoroz Open: Alison Riske makes it look easy against Kaja Juvan

Riske, her opponent in the final, came through 6-0, 6-4 against Kaja Juvan in their semi-final.

The third-seeded American needed an hour and 27 minutes to notch her win. The higher-ranked player was unplayable in the opening set but the duo exchanged a break of serve in the second set before Riske broke Juvan in the ninth game and served out the match in the 10th game.

Post-match, Riske said, “I started out really hot in the first set, I feel like I didn't miss a ball. (Juvan) had a medical time-out, she had an injury, and she kind of changed the way she was playing, so I had to adapt there.

I figured just staying cool in the moment (was key)”. The Portoroz Open final will be the first meeting between Alison Riske and Jasmine Paolini. For each player, there’s a personal milestone involved as well. While Paolini’s reached the final of a WTA event for the first time in her career and is attempting to win her first title, Riske’s made it to a WTA final – the 10th of her career – after almost two years, at the Wuhan Open in 2019. Photo Credit: Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz Facebook