Top seed Naomi Osaka won two matches on Saturday to reach the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open for the third time in Osaka, Japan.
Due to bad weather on Friday, Osaka first had to beat Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-4 to set up a semifinal showdown with ninth-seeded Belgian Elise Mertens. The Japanese star then cruised in the semifinal, beating Mertens 6-4, 6-1.
Mertens also was forced to play twice, beating Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-3 in another delayed quarterfinal match.
Osaka will face Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final. Pavlyuchenkova completed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Japan’s Misaki Doi before stunning fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals.
Osaka lost to Pavlyuchenkova in their only previous meeting, in 2017. She’s seeking her first title after two runner-up finishes in the event (2016, 2018).
Guangzhou International Women’s Open
Third-seeded Sofia Kenin picked up her third title of the year, beating Australian Samantha Stosur 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2.
Kenin had lost both previous meetings with Stosur and, after dropping the first set, was two games away from a third straight defeat.
Kenin then won seven straight games to seize control of the match.
Kenin also won at Hobart and Mallorca this season. She’ll jump from No. 20 to No. 17 when new rankings are released this week.
Fourth-seeded Magda Linette of Poland reached the final with a hard-fought 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7) victory over second-seeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Linette will face third-seeded Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, who held off No. 8 Yafan Wang of China 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the other semifinal.
Linette beat Muchova in three sets in their only previous meeting.
--Field Level Media
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