China’s Wang Qiang reached the final of WTA 250, the Emilia-Romagna Open after preserving a perfect head-to-head record over Sloane Stephens.
No.6 seed Wang came from 1-5 down in the second set and saved three set points against Sloane Stephens for a 6-2, 7-6(3). She captured three multi-deuce games, saving set points at 1-5, 2-5, and 4-5, to level at 5-5. Wang simply had to remain solid to take the ensuing tiebreak. The 29-year-old finished in style, though, finding a second ace on her third match point.
Previously, the Chinese player had dismissed Stephens 6-3, 6-3 at the 2016 Australian Open and 6-2, 6-2 at Wuhan 2017. The pattern continued in a one-sided first set in which Stephens failed to find any tactic that disrupted Wang’s rhythm.
Saturday’s final will be a first encounter between Wang and Coco Gauff who needed three sets to get past Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.
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