In a surprise final, Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia will collide for the title of at the WTA Finals tonight in Fort Worth, Texas.
Yesterday on semifinal day, Sabalenka topped world No. 1 and tournament favorite Iga Swiatek 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 in just over two hours.
Swiatek came in having won 17 of her last 18 matches, 15 straight against Top 10s and her last four against the Belarussian. But Sabalenka snapped the losing streak to the Polish star running away with the third set to reach the biggest final of her career.
“Overall, I was really calm on the court,” Sabalenka said. “The mindset was just I wanted to make her work for it. I didn’t want to give her another easy win, like she got first three wins.
“That’s the mindset I had during this match. I think that’s why I wasn’t really going for all those winners, all those aces, but I think because of the mindset, I made it a lot.”
Despite the loss, Swiatek was still pleased with her incredible season. And she’s looking forward to some time off.
“This season has been so intense and I’m so proud of myself that I could play so well till the end of it. I’m happy that it’s done,” she said.
“I want to spend eight days not thinking about anything and not doing anything,” she added. “That’s the first time I’m gonna have a vacation like that because usually I went to places where I could do sightseeing, and I still had an active vacation.
“Slowly I’m going to kind of come back to work. And then I’m sure that we’re gonna start some easy practice sessions. So, yeah, a lot of time. And I’m happy about it.”
Earlier, Caroline Garcia booked her ticket to the final with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Maria Sakkari.
“This morning, obviously the legs were a bit heavy, but I was just so excited, the emotion and the win yesterday to be playing a semifinal today of the WTA Finals,” Garcia said.
The two of split four meetings with Garcia winning recently this summer en route to the Cincinnati title.
“Aryna is a very powerful player, huge serve, huge forehand,” Garcia said. “She looks like she’s playing some great tennis here so far. We know that she’s very all the way showing a lot of emotion, going for her shots. I played her a couple of months ago in Cincinnati.
“It’s different. I’ll have to put pressure on her, obviously. I will try to play my game.”
For either player, it will be the biggest title of their career, and a first WTA Finals trophy. Both players will finish Top 5.
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