WTA BOGOTA: Francesca Schiavone and Lara Arruabarrena set up the final clash


WTA BOGOTA: Francesca Schiavone and Lara Arruabarrena set up the final clash

Experienced Italian Francesca Schiavone and 2012 champion Lara Arruabarrena will play for the title in Bogota after they defeated Johanna Larsson and Sara Sorribes Tormo in the semi-final matches. This will be the 19th WTA final for Schiavone, who is currently ranked 168th and who needed a wild card to enter the main draw (this will be her final season on the Tour), and only the second in the last 4 years.

Interestingly, Lara Arruabarrena won this event in 2012, just a few weeks before her 20th birthday, but she played in only one final in between, taking the title in Seoul in September, so she is looking for 3 from 3 in the WTA finals.

Schiavone defeated Larsson 7-5 6-4, in only their second meeting on the Tour after Strasbourg 2012, when the Italian celebrated as well. Francesca served at only 55% but she fends off 7 out of 10 break points to restrict the damage on her serve, taking almost 50% of the return points to break Larsson 5 times from 11 chances.

The match started with exchanged breaks and Schiavone had to save another 3 break points in the marathon game 5 to stay in contention. After that, they both settled into a nice rhythm on serve, all the way until game 12 when Larsson dropped her serve to lose the opener 7-5.

The Swede had a 4-2 lead in set number 2 but Schiavone used all of her experience to bounce back and bring the match home in straights. She broke at love in game 8 to pull the break back and level the score at 4-4, saved two break points in game 9 and sealed the deal with another break in game 10.

The all-Spanish affair brought the second meeting between Lara Arruabarrena and Sara Sorribes Tormo (the first in 4 years), and the 4th seed won the match by 6-2 4-6 6-4 in 2 hours and 10 minutes to advance to the final. The match was dotted with errors on both sides, there were 18 double faults and 28 break points in total, in what has been a true WTA contest, and Arruabarrena had to perform a little miracle in the final set, fighting back from a 4-0 deficit to take the last 6 games of the match.

There were 16 breaks in total, as neither player managed to control its serve, but Lara at least kept some decent second serve percentages that made her through in the end. She was off to a flying start, breaking Sorribes Tormo 3 times in the opening set to clinch it by 6-2.

Set number 2 saw a feast of breaks, they took each other's serve 6 times in a row to stay neck and neck, but it was Sorribes Tormo who grabbed another one in game 10 to win the set by 6-4 and force a decider. Sara was now the dominant figure on the court, she rattled off 6 games in a row to find herself 4-0 up in the final set, moving very close to the final.

With a mountain to climb, Arruabarrena began her comeback with a break in game 5 and out of sudden she was back in the game, taking 12 points in succession and 24 out of the final 32 to complete a great recovery and bring the match home on own serve in game 10, but only after saving another break point. Semi-final results:



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WTA Bogota Francesca Schiavone