WTA Bogota: Amanda Anisimova edges Beatriz Haddad Maia to set Sharma clash


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WTA Bogota: Amanda Anisimova edges Beatriz Haddad Maia to set Sharma clash

The 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova will have a chance to play for the first WTA title in Bogota after a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 win over a qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia in two hours and 40 minutes. Serving at 70%, Amanda saved five out of eight break points, five in the last game of the match, earning no less than 17 chances and converting only four (three of those when it mattered the most in the decider).

They traded breaks in games three and four and Haddad Maia delivered another one at 2-2 to move ahead for the second time, fending off the next five break points to defend the lead and close the set 6-4. Amanda found the range on serve in set number two, losing just seven points behind the initial shot and creating six break chances, failing to convert any and having to win the tie break to stay in the tournament.

Beatriz did well to repel those break points, including two set points in games ten and 12, although she stood no chance in the breaker, suffering three mini-breaks and allowing Amanda to win it 7-2. The momentum was on the side of the American and she grabbed three straight breaks in the decider for a 5-2 lead, erasing five break points in game eight to seal the deal and secure the place in the second WTA final.

The 23-year-old Astra Sharma is through to the first WTA final, winning ITF title in Mexico in March and excelling her game here in Bogota for the most significant result in a career. Astra took down the 11th seed Lara Arrubarrena 7-5, 6-1 in just 66 minutes, hitting ten aces and facing only one break point.

Lara converted it but she needed to create more damage on the return to keep the pace with the Aussie, losing 45% of the points behind the initial shot and getting broken four times from five opportunities given to Sharma.

Nothing could separate them in the opening eight games and Arruabarrena drew first blood at 4-4 to forge the lead and serve for the opener in the following game. Two set points were not enough to push her over the top, with Sharma breaking back to gain the momentum in one of the pivotal moments of the entire encounter.

Lara wasted three game points at 5-6 to lose serve and hand the first set to Astra who never looked back, dropping six points on serve and breaking the Spaniard in games four and six to race towards the finish line and set the title clash against Anisimova.