Unseeded Maria Sakkari of Greece delivered a thrilling encore performance to her previous upset over Venus Williams to beat Danielle Collins and reach her first WTA final at the Silicon Valley Classic on Saturday.
Trailing by a set and facing a 4-1 deficit in the second set against Collins, Sakkari completed a big turnaround to beat the American 3-6 7-5 6-2 in the semifinal.
The 23-year-old will face Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu who reached the final by beating fourth seed Elise Mertens 4-6 6-3 6-1.
“I think it’s part of my character and the way I grew up playing – I like drama,” Sakkari told wtatennis.com.
“When things get tighter, I’m more used to it. It’s in my character, Spartan.
“I think I wasn’t playing well (earlier in the match) because I was not positive. Once I started feeling more positive, then I started playing better.
“My tennis was there – I have been playing very good tennis for the last five days or so.”
.@mariasakkari is on to her first WTA Final!
— WTA (@WTA) August 5, 2018
Sakkari persevered past Williams on Friday despite trailing in both sets, and she again displayed the knack for a comeback.
She won four straight games in the second set to put pressure on Collins, and ultimately evened the match with a forehand winner.
Collins, also looking to make her first WTA final, never recovered.
Meanwhile, Buzarnescu will get another shot to break through for her first career WTA singles title after rallying back against Mertens.
In a rematch of Hobart International final in January, Buzarnescu fought back from a set down to get revenge and set up the biggest match of her career.
The victory puts Buzarnescu into the first Premier-level final of her career, and will also see her rise to a new career-high ranking of world No.21 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday.
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