China's Zheng Saisai storms into WTA San Jose Classic final
China's Zheng Saisai has inched closer to her maiden singles title at a WTA Premier event after she stunned seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 to line up a title clash with second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka at the WTA tournament in San Jose, California.
This was the unseeded 25-year-old's third win against a seeded opponent in the entire week as she knocked off eighth-seeded American Danielle Collins before outclassing fourth-seeded US teen Amanda Anisimova in a three-set quarter-final marathon on Friday night.
Continuing her sublime form in the semifinal on Saturday, Zheng took an early 3-1 lead after breaking her Greek opponent in the opening set. Sakkari, however, fought back valiantly and took the set to a tiebreak that saw the Chinese tennis sensation eventually winning 7-5.
The Xi'an native carried her momentum forward to the second set as well and, with sheer dominance, she took a comfortable 5-2 lead.
With Sakkari serving, Zheng grabbe three key points to position herself for the match point.
Then Sakkari's double fault clinched the game, set and match for Zheng who wrapped up the set 6-2 to advance to the biggest final of her career.
Meanwhile, world number 10 Sabalenka crushed fifth-seeded Croatian Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-3 to reach her first final since she won the Shenzhen Open in January.
(Cover: Zheng Saisai of China returns the ball in her marathon quarter finals of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose State University in San Jose, U.S. Aug 2, 2019. /VCG Photo)