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Veronika Kudermetova knocks out dark horse Paula Badosa to set up final against Danka Kovinic in Charleston

Agence France-Presse
·2 min read

Miami: Veronika Kudermetova ended the fairytale run of Paula Badosa in Charleston Saturday, booking a final showdown with Danka Kovinic in the WTA clay court tournament.

Kudermetova, the 15th seed from Russia, overcame her nerves to beat Badosa 6-3, 6-3 and reach her second final of the season.

She fell to Aryna Sabalenka in the title match at Abu Dhabi in January.

Montenegro's Kovinic defeated Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-2 to give herself a chance at a first WTA crown.

Spain's Badosa, ranked 71st in the world, had reached the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-3 upset of world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

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It was just the second win of her career over a top-20 player, the first coming in the second round against 12th-ranked Swiss Belinda Bencic.

But Kudermetova, ranked 38th in the world, fired 28 winners €" two more than her 26 unforced errors €" and converted four of her six break chances to beat Badosa €" who was able to take advantage of just one of her five break point opportunities.

"Today, I tried to play more aggressive than I played in Abu Dhabi," said Kudermetova, who needed three sets to get past Badosa in the third round there on the way to the final.

"It was a good match for me because I was really nervous. I showed a lot of emotion €" I crushed my racquet €" but I like this match."

Kudermetova, who hasn't dropped a set this week, closed out the contest with back-to-back aces.

Kovinic, ranked 91st in the world, is in her first final in almost five years and her first at the 500 level.

After labouring almost three hours to beat Yulia Putintseva on Friday she needed just 78 minutes to beat 28th-ranked Jabeur.

"I feel wonderful right now, to be honest," Kovinic said on court after converting her third match point.

"Even though I'm a little bit tired, I gave my best on the court today to make it through. I was very decisive today."

Sunday's final will be the first main-draw meeting between Kudermetova and Kovinic. Kudermetova beat Kovinic when they met in the Shenzhen qualifiers in 2019.

Also See: World No 71 Paula Badosa stuns Ash Barty in Charleston quarter-finals

Charleston Open: Ashleigh Barty overcomes American Shelby Rogers in three sets to book quarter-final berth

Miami Open: Daniil Medvedev limps to third round win, John Isner downs Felix Auger-Aliassime

Read more on Sports by Firstpost.