EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND – Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko overpowered Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-4 6-1 to set up an all-Baltic title decider against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit at the Eastbourne grasscourt tournament on Friday (June 25).
Latvia’s Ostapenko, who took a wildcard for the warm up tournament ahead of next week’s Wimbledon, raced out of the blocks to smack nine winners and break her opponent’s serve twice for 3-0 lead.
Rybakina roared back to draw level after six games in the opening set but soon required medical treatment on her back, and was never quite able to impose herself during the rest of the match.
Ostapenko closed out the first set following a late break and was dominant in the second, with Rybakina failing to keep a leash on her unforced errors.
The 24-year-old went on to seal victory and book a place in her ninth WTA final when Rybakina dished out a sixth double fault of the match.
Earlier, Kontaveit took a short cut into the final as her opponent Camila Giorgi quit due to a left thigh injury in the first set.
There was no hint of anything wrong with Italian qualifier Giorgi as she broke back to trail 4-5 but she then told the umpire that she had an injury and could not continue.
It was a sad end to a great week for world number 75 Giorgi who had taken out fifth seed Karolina Pliskova and top seed Aryna Sabalenka en route to the last four.