WTA Seoul: Karolina Muchova and Magda Linette prevail to set final clash


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WTA Seoul: Karolina Muchova and Magda Linette prevail to set final clash

The 23-year-old Karolina Muchova is through to her second WTA final in a career after a hard-fought 7-6, 6-4 victory over the 8th seed Yafan Wang in two hours and two minutes. Wang served at only 46% but gave her best to stay in contention, fending off seven out of ten break chances and earning two breaks on the return, which wasn't enough at least for a set.

Muchova delivered high numbers behind the first serve and was able to come back from 5-3 down in the first set, securing the marathon set and controlling the scoreboard in the second to book the place in the title match. It was a perfect start for both players, delivering six easy holds to stay locked up at 3-3 before Wang broke to move in front, holding with ease again to open up a 5-3 gap.

With no room for errors, Muchova pulled the break back in game ten to extend her chances, taking the tie break 7-5 to steal the set in just over an hour and gain a massive boost. The Czech had the upper hand in those moments, kicking off the second set with breaks in games one and three for a 5-1 advantage, wasting four match points on the return in game seven and suffering a break at 5-2 to keep the Chinese alive.

Wang reduced the deficit to 4-5 with a comfortable hold but it was all over when Karolina held at love in game ten to wrap up a grueling encounter and make another big step towards the trophy. The 4th seed Magda Linette prevailed against the 2nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and six minutes for the third WTA final and the second of the season after the Bronx where she claimed the maiden title.

As the result suggests, there was nothing to separate them, winning 93 points each and with four breaks overall, although the Pole created much more chances. The Russian saved ten out of 12 break opportunities to stay in touch, wasting four set points in the second set to push Linette through without further struggle that could have sent them into the fourth hour.

Magda opened a 5-3 lead in the first set before Ekaterina broke back immediately, saving two set points in the tenth game to level the score at 5-5 and reaching the tie break that the Pole won 7-5 for an early advantage. Alexandrova claimed a break in the fourth game of the second set, building a 5-2 lead before Magda started to climb back, repelling three set points in the ninth game and another one at 6-7 in the tie break to win it 9-7 and advance into the title match.