Defending champion Katerina Siniakova collected one of her biggest career wins upsetting former No. 1 and idol Maria Sharapova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the Shenzhen semifinal. In the Saturday finale, the Czech will meet current No. 1 Simona Halep, who cruised past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-4.
“I can’t even describe it. I’m really happy and I think you could see the emotion when I finally won the last point,” Siniakova said. “It was a tough match for me and even tougher to close it. I’m a player who will fight for every point and never give up and I think this match shows it.”
The 21-year-old Siniakova beat Halep in this same tournament last year en route to the title.
“It’s amazing to be back in the final. It will be different from last year when it was the second round,” Siniakova said reflecting on her Halep win. “She probably didn’t know me so well. I will try to show my best like I did today and hopefully it will go my way.”
Halep, who won the Shenzhen title in 2015, looks forward to the rematch.
“It’s going to be great, but I know tomorrow is going to be a tough match,” the World No.1 said. “I played last year against her, and maybe I will take my revenge – you never know. I’ll be ready to play and it will be great if I can win it.”
In the Brisbane final, Elina Svitolina will meet Aliaksandra Sasnovich. In the semifinals, Svitolina knocked out Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-5 in rematch of a 2017 semi won by the Czech, while Sasnovich continued her dream run ousting Anastasija Sevastova 7-6(3), 6-4.
“Of course, you know, I played a lot of finals already at this particular stage of the tournaments,” Svitolina acknowledged. “And, yeah, you know, I have the experience – but then I need to be there tomorrow to use it and to give myself a chance to play well.”
Over in Auckland, top seed Caroline Wozniacki is in the semifinals against Sachia Vickery. Julia Goerges faces Su-Wei Hsieh in the other.
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