Brady defeats Gauff in straight sets to reach first WTA final

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - First Round - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 21, 2020. Jennifer Brady of the U.S. in action during the match against Romania's Simona Halep REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

(Reuters) - American Jennifer Brady defeated compatriot Coco Gauff 6-2 6-4 at the Top Seed Open on Saturday, earning a spot in her first WTA final.

The outdoor, hard court tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, marks the first WTA event in the United States since the coronavirus outbreak forced a hiatus and upended the professional sports calendar.

World no. 49 Brady used a powerful serve to her advantage over Gauff at the fanless tournament, firing off eight aces and winning nearly 85% of her first-serve points, to set up a final clash with Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.

“I’ve been working a little bit on all aspects of the serve, mainly the stroke and the timing of the serve, more technique, things like that,” said Brady. “If I’m able to serve well, I’m able to start the point aggressive, start it in my favor.”

Teichmann, who won both of her two WTA titles at clay court tournaments last year, defeated American Shelby Rogers 6-3 6-2 to earn her final berth.

“Obviously everyone thinks I’m just a clay court player - I think I’ve proven it’s not only this way,” the 23-year-old said. “I’ve been feeling great on hard courts since the beginning of the year... My goal was just to keep on this level.”

Brady and Teichmann face off on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).

Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Daniel Wallis