Svitolina steps up US Open prep by reaching Chicago WTA final

Washington (AFP) –


Olympic bronze medallist Elina Svitolina continued her US Open build up with a three-set win over Rebecca Peterson to reach her first WTA final of 2021 at the hardcourt event in Chicago.

The top-seeded Ukrainian, who hadn't reached a final since her title run in Strasbourg last September, defeated Sweden's Peterson 6-1, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 to line up a meeting with ninth-seeded Alize Cornet of France.

Cornet defeated Russian Varvara Gracheva 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 to reach Saturday's final in one of two WTA events serving as final tune-ups for the US Open that starts Monday in New York.

Svitolina fired 29 winners, including seven aces, on the way to a much needed victory.

Since earning bronze at the Tokyo Games Svitolina had lost her opening matches in both Montreal and Cincinnati.

Nevertheless, Cornet can expect a stiff challenge on Saturday against Svitolina, who has won 15 of the 18 WTA finals in which she has appeared.

In Cleveland, second-seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit beat seventh-seeded Spaniard Sara Sorribes 6-4, 6-4 to book a title clash with Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu, a 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 winner over sixth-seeded Magda Linette of Poland.