WTA QUEBEC CITY - Babos outmuscles Safarova, gets Van Uytvanck in the final

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WTA QUEBEC CITY - Babos outmuscles Safarova, gets Van Uytvanck in the final

No.3 seed Timea Babos will meet No.7 seed Alison Van Uytvanck in her second WTA final of the year. At the Coupe Banque Nationale, the only Hungarian into the top 100 edged past Lucie Safarova 7-6 7-6. She will meet the Flemish for the second time, bidding to avenge the loss in second qualifying round at Indian Wells in 2015.

Van Uytvanck, in her first semifinal since Luxembourg 2015, stunned Tatjana Maria 6-1 6-2. Babos had beaten Safarova in her latest meeting, as she came back in the Budapest final to seal her second WTA title. The Czech held to love in her first four service games of the match but had to save a set point on serve to force a tiebreak.

Babos once again brought up the first chances to close the set. Safarova clawed her way back, even holding a set point herself, before Babos converted her sixth set chance. Safarova, the 2013 champion, finalist in 2009, started comfortably in a second set that unfolded in the same fashion, Babos, eventually winning her 34th match out of 38 after sealing the first set, and Safarova, hoping to complete the eighth comeback win of the season, started off in a tight deadlock before Babos finally broke through late in the set, earning the first break at 4-3.

She marched ahead to bring up four match points on Safarova’s serve, before finally closing out the match a game later. Babos will face the No.7 seed Alison Van Uytvanck for the Quebec City title. Van Uytvanck took down No.4 seed Tatjana Maria in a one-sided semifinal, needing just over an hour to score a 6-1, 6-2 victory over the German and reach her first WTA-level final of her career.

Maria had narrowly won their only meeting on carpet a year ago at the Taipei WTA 125K Series Event, edging through in three sets. But in their semifinal on Saturday, Van Uytvanck reeled off nine games in a row from 1-0 breaking Maria five times and batting away the lone break point she faced.

Maria looked increasingly frustrated and created more unforced errors as the match went on, going for bigger shots and letting Van Uytvanck hang back and retrieve. The Belgian, who confessed to have been victim of bulying acts when she was a young player in the top sports school for her red hair, collectd her 23rd win of the season, and a berth in her first WTA final.