Charleston Open: Collins knocks off Sakkari, sets final showdown with Kasatkina

Danielle Collins' impressive run of form continued as the unseeded American dispatched No. 3

Charleston (US), April 7 (IANS) Danielle Collins’ impressive run of form continued as the unseeded American dispatched No. 3 seed Greek player Maria Sakkari, winning 6-3, 6-3 to reach the final of the Charleston Open.

The 30-year-old American entered her semifinal against Sakkari having won her last 11 matches in a row – including her maiden WTA 1000 trophy in Miami and an upset win over defending champ Ons Jabeur earlier this week.

She embodied that winning form from the get-go on Saturday’s second match, racing out to an early break lead against the No. 3-seeded Greek.

Although Sakkari was able to draw level with a break of the Collins serve in the fifth game, she was unable to find the right balance of aggression and defence, being outduelled by the American in first-strike early and struggling to maintain her range in extended rallies.

The second set was more of the same as the first, with the home favorite Collins striking the ball with relentless power to earn another early advantage. Once again, Sakkari made a surge towards break points mid-way through the set – and once again, Collins would find big serves when it mattered most. After claiming a tricky sixth game, the American never looked back in the match.

After an hour and 25 minutes, Collins set up a Sunday showdown with No. 4 seed Daria Kasatkina, who triumphed over Jessica Pegula in a three-set thriller earlier in the day.

Pegula pulled off multiple narrow escapes this week, beating Amanda Anisimova in a third-set tiebreak in the second round, and saving four match points in another third-set tiebreak win over Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals.

However, the American could not complete another final-set tiebreak victory against Kasatkina.

–IANS

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