Anett Kontaveit, Irina-Camelia Begu reach Cleveland final

CLEVELAND (AP) — Second-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania advanced to the championship match in the inaugural Tennis in the Land.

Kontaveit beat seventh-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 6-4, 6-4, and Begu topped sixth-seeded Magda Linette of Poland 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Friday in the WTA 250 tournament.

No. 30 Kontaveit had two service breaks in rallying from a 4-3 deficit in the first set of the night match at Jacobs Pavilion. She utilized her forehand to finish with 27 winners, 16 more than No. 43 Sorribes Tormo.

“She brings so many balls back that you always have to hit the extra shot,” Kontaveit said. “I had to be patient and attack when I could. I hope I can keep pushing myself and get one more (victory) here.”

Kontaveit qualified for her third final of the season and is seeking her second title. Begu has four career WTA titles.

No. 74 Begu dropped the first three games of the match and fell behind 5-4 in the tiebreaker to No. 51 Linette, but stormed back for her fourth consecutive straight-set victory. She has never faced Kontaveit as a professional.

“Magda was really aggressive from the beginning and I started a little bit slow with no reaction,” Begu said. “The first set was up and down, and having two set points, but not taking advantage was tough mentally. I was so happy when I was able to close it out.”

Linette upset top-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-1, 6-2 a day earlier, but was unable to handle Begu’s serve. Begu fired all 11 aces in the afternoon contest, beating Linette for the first time in four meetings.

“My serve was helping me at important points,” Begu said. “I also was pushing myself to stay in long rallies and be aggressive when I had the chance.”

Both semifinals lasted 1 hour, 45 minutes.

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