Astana Open: Yulia Putintseva sets final showdown against Alison van Uytvanck

The Kazakh's bidding to win her third career title while the Belgian's trying to win her fifth

by Abbey Johnson
Astana Open: Yulia Putintseva sets final showdown against Alison van Uytvanck

Yulia Putintseva and Alison van Uytvanck will vie for the Astana Open title on Saturday. The top two seeds made it through to the final after winning their respective semi-finals in straight sets on Friday. In the first semi-final, the second-seeded Belgian defeated Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 16 minutes.

Van Uytvanck won 72% of her first-serve points while Cristian won only 36% of her first-serve points. However, the latter was able to win more points off her second serves – 52% to van Uytvanck’s 41%. Van Uytvanck broke Cristian five times across the match saved two of the four break points, she faced.

Astana Open: Yulia Putintseva aims to extend dominance over Alison van Uytvanck

Putintseva, meanwhile, completed a 6-2, 6-4 win over sixth seed Rebecca Peterson in an hour and 43 minutes. Both players won near similar points off their first serves – Putintseva won 60% while Peterson won 59%.

But the biggest difference was in the second-serve points won by both players. Putintseva won 75% of her second-serve points while the Swede could manage to win only 28% of her second-serve points. While the Kazakh had it easy in the opening set, the second set almost slipped out of her hands as she was broken in the eighth game while serving for the match.

Serving for the match for the second time in the 10th game, Peterson had two more break points for a chance to bring the set to parity at five-all. But Putintseva held her nerves and staved off both break points before going on to convert the win.

Speaking after her win, Putintseva said, “The second set was tight since the beginning. It was a few close games which turned my way. I knew the 4-1 game was very, very important; I knew that if I could lead 5-1, at least if I didn't serve it out the first time, next time I will have new balls.

I don't know how but I won this game... I had one lucky shot that helped me get another match point. It's cool, it's very special [to be in a final at home] - I'm really looking forward to it”. The Astana Open final between Yulia Putintseva and Alison van Uytvanck will be the fifth meeting between the two.

The Kazakh holds a comfortable 4-0 lead in their head-to-head. This will also be the first time since the 2020 Linz Open that the two top seeds will play each other in the title clash. Photo Credit: Astana Open Twitter

Astana Open Yulia Putintseva Alison Van Uytvanck