Jennifer Brady advanced to the finals of a WTA event for the first time in her career Saturday, sweeping past fellow American Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky.
The 25-year-old Brady had lost in each of her previous semifinal appearances, but needed only 71 minutes to get by the 16-year-old Gauff on the hardcourt. She will face Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Shelby Rogers in the other semifinal, in Sunday’s championship match.
“Reaching a final at any tournament, I think, is a great opportunity,” Brady told reporters after the match. “I’ve given myself the best opportunity, and hopefully, I come out and play well tomorrow.”
Brady was particularly impressive in the second set against Gauff, dropping just four points in five service games and winning all 14 points played behind her first serve.
The seeds held to form in the semifinals, and top-seeded Simona Halep of Romania will face third-seeded Eilse Mertens of Belgium for the claycourt title Sunday.
Both players needed a tiebreak in one of their sets, Halep in her first set against compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu. But after getting by Begu 7-6 (2) in the first set, Halep cruised 6-3 in the second set. Before that match, Begu had to complete her quarterfinal against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, which was suspended by weather Friday. Begu won that match 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Mertens beat unseeded Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the other semifinal, winning 7-5, 7-6 (4).
--Field Level Media
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