Camila Giorgi beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 6-4 to come back to the title-match at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz for the second time. In her sixth career WTA final she will play qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova who came back after being handed a bagel in the first set and outlasted Andrea Petkovic 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 to seal her maiden tour-level final.
The Italian extended to 3-0 her head to head record against the Belgian, unable to win a set against the Italian as Giorgi thrashed her 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of Miami in 2015 and 6-2, 6-1 in the second round of Lugano this April.
Giorgi needed six match points to seal her spot into the final, and was unsatisfied but relieved of her level during the semifinal. She struggled to apply the game-plan but she stayed solid on serve and made the most of her flashy groundstrokes.
"Today was a really great match, and at the end it was very close," Giorgi said in her post-match interview. Van Uytvanck, seeking to reach her third career final, both played and won on indoor hardcourts in Québec City last year and in Budapest this February, tried to come to the net more often in the second set to make Giorgi play in a hurry but the Italian maintained the control on the proceedings and is guaranteed to rise to a new career high ranking, landing to No.28, two spots higher than her previous record as she climbed to No.30 in July 2015.
Giorgi will aim to end the tournament on a higher note than she did in 2014, when she missed a match point to Karolina Pliskova and lost the final here. In her first WTA career final since Katowice 2016, the fifth on indoor hard-courts, she will find an opponent with nothing to lose, feeling presumably free to go for her shots.
Alexandrova, competing in her maiden WTA semifinal today, turned the tables against Petkovic, who moved to the last four for the third time this season and aimed to reach the 12th career final. In the final set, she dominated the match very quickly and sealed the victory with her seventh ace of the encounter.
Coached by her father, Evgeny Alexandrova, she began playing tennis at age six, on holiday at Spain uncharacteristically on hardcourts. The Russian, who trains in Prague and admires Serena Williams, posted her career-best year-end finish in 2017 and first Top 100 finish, at No.73, peaking in rankings at No.69 on September 25, 2017.
Last year, she played in the main draw of all four Grand Slams in 2017 for the first time in her career and took part to a career-best twelve tour-level main draws thus far. Season highlights included winning sixth and seventh ITF singles titles, at $60k events in Shenzhen and Croissy-Beaubourge.
In 2018, she moved to the quarter-finals at Seoul at WTA levels and took consistent results on the ITF circuit, with a runner-up finish in Budapest losing to Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3 4-6 6-1, and a couple of semifinals showings in Ilkley (l.
Dayana Yastremska 6-4 6-3) and Trnava 2 (l. Viktoria Kuzmova 7-5 5-7 6-4). The Russian, who on this surface won the 2016 Limoges 125K title beating Alizé Cornet and Caroline Garcia in the last two rounds, became the first qualifier to make the Linz final in its current incarnation as an International tournament.