The 20-year-old Sofia Kenin has been on a breakthrough run so far in 2019, cracking the top-20 and advancing into the fourth WTA final in Guangzhou after a 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 triumph over Anna Blinkova. The encounter lasted for two hours and 21 minutes and Sofia had to work hard to stay in contention after the opening two sets, staging a comeback in the first and saving enough energy to dominate in the decider and remain on the title course.
Sofia got broken five times, facing seven out of eight break points in the opening two sets and converting only three chances in that interval, happy to claim the first set from being 4-1 down. Following that encouraging start, Blinkova suffered a break in game seven and they stayed neck and neck until the tie break that Kenin clinched 7-2, moving closer to the finish line.
She was close to it after building a 4-2 lead in set number two before Blinkova shifted into a higher gear, rattling off four straight games to perform a comeback and send the encounter into a decider. There, Sofia started all over and delivered three consecutive breaks that pushed her through, taking the set 6-1 and passing another obstacle en route to the third crown of the season.
The 35-year-old Samantha Stosur will return into the top-100 after a 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 victory over Viktorija Golubic in two hours and 17 minutes, advancing into the 25th WTA final and the first since 2017. The Aussie gave serve away four times and created numerous chances on the return, converting five out of 17 to improve her game after a slow start and claim the second set in the tie break despite having a chance to close it earlier as she led 5-2.
Samantha had the momentum on her side now, stealing the opponent's serve four times in the final set to march over the finish line and achieve the best result ina couple of years.