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Alexandrova to Face Ostapenko in Linz Final

Top-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia takes on third-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the Linz final on Sunday. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

Ekaterina Alexandrova was a fighter to the finish in Linz.

Alexandrova battled back from 1-5 down in the decisive tiebreaker stopping Donna Vekic 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-6(6) to reach the Upper Austria Ladies Linz final in a thriller.

The second-seeded Alexandrova pumped 12 aces against 12 double faults and denied eight of the 14 break points she faced in a demanding duel that spanned three hours, six minutes.

Serving on match point at 7-6, Alexandrova banged one final serve out wide rattling out a backhand error then dropped to a squat in exhaustion and exhilaration.

World No. 21 Alexandrova will face top-seeded Jelena Ostapenko in tomorrow’s final.

The 2017 Roland Garros champion Ostapenko smacked 10 aces defeating 2021 French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in today’s second semifinal. Ostapenko won 77 percent of her first-serve points (37 of 48), 50 percent of her second-serve points and erased all seven break points she faced. 

Tomorrow’s final is a rematch of the 2019 Linz semifinals that saw Ostapenko scrape out a 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 win over Alexandrova.

Overall, Alexandrova owns a 5-4 career edge over Ostapenko.

The 12th-ranked Latvian has beaten Alexandrova in two of their last three encounters, including a 6-2, 7-6(3) victory in the Adelaide semifinals last month. 

Adelaide champion Ostapenko is contesting her 16th career final and competing for her eighth championship. Ostapenko has won one title every year in each of the last four years, but she hasn’t won multiple championships in a season since 2017. 

Alexandrova is playing for her fifth career title in her eighth WTA final.