Bad Homburg | It’s a Shnaider v Vekic final in Germany

Two unseeded players will fight for the title at the Bad Homburg Open in Germany on Saturday after Diana Shnaider upset No 3 seed Emma Navarro, 7-5 2-6 6-3, and Donna Vekic defeated qualifier Viktoriya Tomova 6-0 7-6(6) in Friday’s semi-finals.

I think, in tennis, when you win the first set 6-0, it's sometimes a curse because the second set is almost never going to be the same. She's a great player and she made me work for it in the end. Donna Vekic

Shnaider overcame a second-set stumble to beat the American, setting up a clash with Vekic, who won the first 8 games before Tomova rallied to force a tiebreak, saving 4 of 5 break points and finishing with 10 aces.

It was a match of come-backs by Shnaider, who was playing her first career semi-final on grass.

After trailing Navarro 3-1 in the first set, her powerful forehand took over, and the 20-year-old overpowered the American to take the first set 7-5.

Navarro bounced back to force a deciding set and, once again, led Shnaider by an early break.

Down a break at 3-2, Shnaider took a medical timeout to address a neck issue and came out firing.

After amplifying her aggression, Shnaider reeled off the last 4 games to seal her spot in the final, having saved a whopping 13 of 17 break points against Navarro, ranked 19 in the world, who had dominated the second set and gone 3-1 up in the third.


Donna Vekic bagelled Viktoriya Tomova and then was forced to a breaker before prevailing in her semi-final

WTAtennis.com

Less than 24 hours earlier, Tomova engineered a stunning come-back to defeat Russia’s Anna Blinkova, 2-6 6-1 7-6(9) in the quarter-finals, but the Bulgarian qualifier, who bested Taylor Townsend to earn her main-draw spot, saved 5 match points against Blinkova to set up her showdown with Vekic, and her efforts took their toll on Friday.

Vekic raced through the first 8 games of the match before Tomova got on the board in the second, and she forced matters into the breaker, where the Croatian outlasted the Bulgarian in a crucial point at 6-6 before closing out the win a point later.

The Croatian had ultimately prevailed to reach her 5th grass court final, just ahead of Wimbledon next week.

Vekic celebrated her 28th birthday on Friday with her win that also put her into her first final this season.

“I think, in tennis, when you win the first set 6-0, it’s sometimes a curse because the second set is almost never going to be the same,” Vekic said. “She’s a great player and she made me work for it in the end.”





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