Wickmayer, Linette to meet in Tokyo final

Novak Djokovic & Simona Halep celebrate titles at Wimbledon Champions Dinner

Yanina Wickmayer and Magda Linette will meet in the final of the Tokyo Open after advancing from Saturday’s semi-finals with contrasting performances.

Wickmayer, the world number 86, needed just 90 minutes to defeat Alja Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-2 and book her place in the title match.

While Linette was forced to battle past American Christina McHale; falling a set behind before fighting back to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in 131 minutes.

Australia’s Tomljanovic had advanced to the semis with a shock victory over third seed Madison Brengle; coming from a set down to record a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

But on Saturday the seventh seed was on the other end of an upset victory, with Wickmayer playing aggressively and subjecting her to heavy pressure early on.

Tomljanovic successfully defended six breakpoints in the first set before finally dropping her serve in the seventh game to lose 5-7.

She looked a spent force in the second set, with Wickmayer capitalizing in her first breakpoint in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and then closing out the match with another break in the eighth game for a 6-2 win.

Linette’s victory in the second semi-final was far less one-sided than the first, but she was still able to claim a second win over one of the tournament’s top seeds.

The Polish player had bundled out second seed Zarina Diyas with a straight sets victory in round two, but sixth seed McHale refused to suffer the same fate and won the first set 6-3 after an early break.

McHale seemed to be headed for a simple victory when she broke Linette again in the first game of the second set, but her opponent won four games in a row to take a 4-1 lead.

Linette allowed the American back into the contest when she dropped her serve in the ninth game, but broke back immediately to win 6-4.

McHale broke first again in the final set to take a 3-2 lead, but  Linette strung together her second four-game winning streak to claim a 6-3 win.

Linette and Wickmayer have never met before and are similarly ranked by the WTA. However, with two ITF titles to her name so far in 2015, Linette may be favored to claim victory and her first title on the WTA World Tour.

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