Kolkata, Sep 22 (UNI) In the first semi-final of the Sunfeast open, Maria Koryettseva overcame a higher ranked Anne Keothavong to book her first-ever WTA tour final berth at the Sunfeast Open here today.
The 164 th ranked Ukrainian got past the 144th ranked Briton 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
It was a real slugfest with both Maria and Anne firing forehands from the baseline, waiting for the other to blink.
And the set did go blink-blink for quite a few times. While Mariya broke Anne in the first, fifth and 11th games, Anne did the honours in the second, eighth and 12th games.
It was like a test of winners along the baseline. Later Mariya said, "We were comparing our forehands to see who got the better one." Both the players in their first ever WTA semi-final, showed signs of nerves, committing several unforced errors. With forehands going wide, drop-volleys landing on the net, and serves not coming good, it looked like the match would go on for ever.
Mariya later said, 'I had a problem with few line calls and was finding it difficult to concentrate in the early part of the game as my left thigh was giving me problems.' But that changed after Mariya took a two-love lead in the second set. "I took a medical break and attended to my thighs.
I realized I was concentrating on my leg more than my game.But it is okay now and hopefully it will be better tomorrow." But going up 2-0 in the second set was not enough, as the never-say-die spirit of Kepthovang was on display again as she broke her in the third game with a couple of spectacular back-hands.
But Koryettseva, who has two doubles WTA title at Palermo, Italy, showed more fire in her belly and broke back in the fifth game to seal the fate of the tie.
Elated at reaching her first ever final, Koryettseva wants to come back here again next year.
Asked whom would she like to meet in the final, she said, "Either of Maria Kirilenko and Daniela Hantuchova would spice up the final." On the one thing she would like to improve on her first ever final, the Ukranian said, "Self belief. The belief that I can do it." UNI