At the WTA 250 tournament in Bogotá, 19-year old wildcard Maria Camila Osorio Serrano will play for her first career title on home soil at the Copa Cosalnitas against the No 5 seed, Tamara Zidansek on Sunday.
I haven't had such good results in the past year. Obviously, no one was playing for a major of the last year. It was hard to get back into a rhythm for me, so I needed a few consecutive matches and tournaments to get back into the rhythm, so I'm really happy with that. All the work is starting to come together. Tamara Zidansek
The Colombian teenager is a former junior World No 1 and has yet to lose a set this week.
On Saturday, Osorio Serrano delivered an emphatic 6-1 6-2 win in the semi-final over French qualifier Harmony Tan, putting her through to her first WTA singles final in just her 4th career WTA main draw appearance.
To get there, she earned her first win against a Top 100 player, upsetting No 7 seed Tereza Martincova in the second round, before following beating former Top 50 player Stefanie Voegele in the last 8.
“I feel super happy to be in the final,” Osorio Serrano said after the match. “I was really hoping to be here and to play in the final.
“I really don’t feel any pressure and I feel like it’s an opportunity for me to enjoy, to play my best and to do what I’ve been doing the whole week.
“It’s my chance to show my tennis, show my best and I hope that I can play well in this final.”
After winning a nearly 15-minute game to begin the match, Osorio Serrano overwhelmed the French qualifier in the first 5 games to build a 5-0 lead.
Contesting her 6th match of the week, Tan received a medical timeout at the ensuing changeover and saved the bagel, but never found a foothold in the match over the course of 85 minutes.
Despite each player landing less than half of her first serves in, it was Osorio Serrano who proved the more effective on return and she broke serve 7 times.
Currently ranked World No 180, the Colombian is the lowest-ranked singles finalist on the WTA Tour this year, and is the third player from her country to play for the title in Bogota, following Fabiola Zuluaga, who won the event in 1999, 2002, ’03 and-’04, and Mariana Duque-Mariño’s win in 2010.
Osorio Serrano, a former US Open junior champion, takes on Slovenia’s Zidansek for the title, who came from a break down in the second set to beat Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova, 6-3 7-5.
Zidansek’s run to the final saw her get past Italy’s Sara Errani in the quarters, who dispatched 2nd-seeded Sara Torribes Tormo in the opening round, and the Slovenian did not lose a set in her 4 matches played this week.
“I haven’t had such good results in the past year,” admitted Zidansek said after the match. “Obviously, no one was playing for a major of the last year.
“It was hard to get back into a rhythm for me, so I needed a few consecutive matches and tournaments to get back into the rhythm, so I’m really happy with that.
“All the work is starting to come together.
“The conditions are pretty tough because of the altitude and, if you’re not completely focused, one ball, two balls, one point, two points go by and it’s 1-4.
“I just kept telling myself to keep fighting, keep staying in the match, be there for every point and I manage to turn it around.”
At the event’s last staging in 2019, Osorio Serrano reached the quarter-finals as a wildcard before bowing out to eventual Amanda Anisimova in three sets.
She and Zidansek, the lone seeded player among those to reach the quarter-finals here, have never played.
“It would mean a lot to win my first WTA title because that’s what we’re working for,” Zidansek added. “I’ve won two WTA 125Ks, but I remember that feeling, how it felt.
“Going for my first WTA 250 title, winning that would be amazing”
In the doubles final, the unseeded French-American pairing of Elixane Lechemia & Ingrid Neel won their first WTA title together, beating No 3 seeds Mihaela Buzarnescu & Anna-Lena Friedsam, from Romania and the Germany respectively, in straight sets, 6-3 6-4.
Ranked World No 137 and World No 148 in the WTA doubles rankings, Lechemia & Neel came into the week needing match tiebreaks to earn victory in both the quarter-finals and semi-finals before knocking off the seeded team to lift the trophy.