Noma Noha Akugue made it to the maiden WTA final of her career on Friday after beating Diana Shnaider in their semi-final clash. The derby between the two 19-year-olds saw the German clinch a 6-3, 6-3 win after 78 minutes. This was the first match during the week in which Noha Akugue had not played a three-setter.
Earlier, she’d won her first and second-round encounters in three-set battles that’d also needed her to post a comeback from losing the first set. Against Shnaider, Noha Akugue played fiercely and dominated the proceedings from the start until the end.
Both players won around 70% of her first-serve points. The eventual winner finished with 76% to her opponent’s 73%. However, Shnaider didn’t have as good of a success when it came to doing well on second-serve points.
While Noha Akugue won 65% of her second-serve points, she also won 58% points on return on her rival’s second serve. Throughout the match, despite facing half-a-dozen break points, she saved all of them. She also went to convert three break points on Shnaider’s serve.
Hamburg European Open: Different debuts for Noma Noha Akugue, Arantxa Rus
In the final, Noha Akugue’s rival will be Dutch player, Arantxa Rus. Rus, who’s seeded seventh in Germany this week, came from down a set against Australian Daria Saville to put herself through to the final.
Rus took two hours and 27 minutes to wrap up a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 win. The deciding set, despite going Rus’ way, had some interesting statistics. Rus won only 17% of her second-serve points to the 27% won by her opponent. However, she won 71% of her first-serve points and 62% points on return on Saville’s first serve.
The only game that Saville won in the set came courtesy of a break of Rus’ serve while Rus converted four break points on Saville’s serve in the set. For the match, Rus finished with 95 points to Saville’s 90.
Like her younger rival Noma Noha Akugue, the Hamburg European Open’s the first WTA tournament in her career in which Arantxa Rus’ gone into the final. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter