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Ana will contest the Generali Ladies Linz final for a third time on Sunday after the 25-year-old beat world No.58 Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 6-4 in the semis. It was another impressive display by the third seed, who makes her way into the final without dropping a set in four matches.
Despite clinching victory in 64 minutes, it was certainly not a one-sided match as the Swiss proved to be a tough challenger. There were no break opportunities until the fifth game when Ana was the first to get a chance on her opponent’s delivery, but she was unable to score the first opening.
Without question, the eighth game of the first set proved to be a crucial turning point. Ana began the game very poorly and faced two break points but luckily for the former world No.1, her serve didn’t let her down at this point. She hammered some big deliveries to get out of trouble and secured a crucial hold of serve.
Ana realized that this was not the time to hesitate and she shifted up a gear. The 25-year-old forced a breakthrough in the following game, scoring a vital break, before serving out the set to love.
She added one more game to her three-game winning streak as she broke the Swiss in the first game of set two. She seemed set to steamroll her way to the final, fully taking advantage of the momentum and holding a 30-0 advantage in the next game. However, some errors suddenly crept into the third seed’s game and Ana lost four straight points, as she lost her serve.
Ana went back to the basics of her game plan and let her deadly forehand do the hard work. It paid off extremely effectively in the seventh game, when the 25-year-old wangled three fresh break chances. Two of them were splendidly wiped away by Voegele, but on the third occasion, Ana was successful and she moved into a 4-3 ahead.
This time the Swiss had no more answers to the two-time champion. Ana held serve two more times and emerged victorious to surge into the Linz final for the third time out in six appearances.
Top seed Angelique Kerber awaits in the final as the German impressively crushed world No.18 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-0 in just 48 minutes.
The match is set to begin at 2.15pm local time (8.15am Eastern Time). Click here for live point-by-point scoring from the TipsArena Linz.
By Joeri Moerman