WTA Strasbourg: Dayana Yastremska tops Aryna Sabalenka to set Garcia clash

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WTA Strasbourg: Dayana Yastremska tops Aryna Sabalenka to set Garcia clash

The 19-year-old and the 6th seed Dayan Yastremska is through to her third WTA final following a 6-4, 6-4 win over the 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka in an hour and 25 minutes. After winning Hua Hin title in February, the young Ukrainian lost the ground a little bit, scoring only two triumphs in the next eight matches and heading to Strasbourg with a strong will to change that and make herself competitive ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Dayana defeated Aryna in St. Petersburg two years ago and was the better player on the court again today, fending off two out of three break points and scoring three breaks from nine opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets.

In her biggest win of the season in terms of ranking, Yastremska blasted 36 winners in comparison to 17 from the Belarusian, dictating the points and having the upper hand almost all the time. They traded breaks in the opening games of the match and Dayana grabbed another one at 2-2, forging the lead and fending off a couple of break points in game eight before closing it on own serve two games later.

Carried by this momentum, Yastremska never looked back in set number two, dropping just six points behind the initial shot and scoring the crucial break at 1-1, moving 5-3 up and creating three match points on the return in game nine.

Sabalenka repelled them all to extend the match but it was all over when Dayana held at 5-4, advancing into the third WTA final and hoping to grab the third title. In the second semi-final, the 4th seed Caroline Garcia toppled the compatriot Chloe Paquet 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 13 minutes for the place in the ninth WTA final.

This was the first WTA semi-final for Paquet who is ranked 223rd, playing well in the opening three matches but standing no chance today against the better-ranked opponent who lost only 14 points in her games, never facing a break point.

Caroline hit 24 winners and 16 unforced errors, taming her shots nicely and scoring one break in each set to propel herself into the title match, hoping for the second Strasbourg title in three years. Both sets were decided in the early stages, with Caroline earning breaks in game two of the first set and the first in set number two, controlling the pace in the rest of the encounter to book the place in the final against Yastremska.