No 1 Swiatek and home favorite Krejcikova in Ostrava final
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP) No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek became the first WTA Tour player since 2017 to achieve 60 wins in a calendar year when she reached yet another final on Saturday in the Czech Republic.
It wasn't easy at the Agel Open. Swiatek was second best to Ekaterina Alexandrova in winners and service breaks but prevailed 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4 in a 2 1/2-hour semifinal.
Her eighth final of the year - she's undefeated - is against home favorite Barbora Krejcikova, the first Czech to make the Ostrava final in its three-year history.
Former French Open champion Krejcikova thrilled the spectators with a comeback win against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina by 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in 2 hours, 21 minutes.
Swiatek and Alexandrova couldn't break each other in their first set but the Pole held her nerve better in the tiebreak.
Alexandrova, at a career-high 21st ranking, got the first break of the match and the second to lead 5-0 in the second set and even the score.
At 3-3 in the decider, Swiatek broke to love for 4-3 and held for her 60th win of the year, the first to the mark since Caroline Wozniacki in 2017.
French and U.S. Open champion Swiatek will bring a 10-win streak into the final on Sunday against Krejcikova, who brings an eight-win streak from taking Tallinn last weekend.
"It doesn't really matter for me if it's a final or any other round, I'm just going to give it my all," Swiatek said.
Rybakina, who launched 17 aces, broke for 5-3 en route to taking the first set.
There were no breaks in the second, and no mini breaks in the tiebreaker until Krejcikova hit successive forehand winners to claim it.
Krejcikova broke for only the second time for a decisive 5-4 in the third, overcoming Rybakina's net rushes with passes and lobs.
Swiatek leads Krejcikova 2-0 on head-to-heads, but both times were last year.
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Updated October 8, 2022