The 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova has been the player to beat in Istanbul this week, losing 19 games in four matches and toppling Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-1 in 85 minutes for the third WTA final. Serving at 72%, Marketa had to play against only three break points, losing serve once and mounting the pressure on Strycova who was miles away from that pace behind her initial shot.
The younger Czech claimed 60% of the return points, struggling on both the first and second serve and getting broken six times from 11 opportunities to send the compatriot into the title match. Dominating with her powerful shots, Vondrousova broke in the first and fifth games of the opener to forge a 4-1 lead and closed the set on own serve in game eight when Barbora hit a forehand long.
Nothing changed in set number two, with Marketa stealing rival's serve in the first game and forging a 4-1 lead with a break at love that pushed her closer to the finish line. Vondrousova saved a break point in the next game and sealed the deal with another break in game seven, converting the fourth match point after a forehand down the line winner.
World no. 40 Petra Martic had to stay on the court for more than three hours on Thursday and she had much-needed more relaxed day at the office on Friday, moving into the third WTA final when Margarita Gasparyan retired after losing the opening set 6-1.
Despite a one-sided scoreboard, the set lasted more than 50 minutes and Gasparyan opened it with a break before Petra took charge, taking the next six games and advancing into the final when the Russian decided to retire before the start of the second set.
The Croat is playing for the first WTA title and she will certainly give her best against the young Czech on Sunday.