Results from the 2023 Birmingham Classic: Jelena Ostapenko vs. Barbora Krejcikova in the championship
After securing their spots, Jelena Ostapenko and Barbora Krejcikova will compete in the Birmingham Classic final on Sunday.
Top seed Krejcikova of the Czech Republic defeated Zhu Lin of China with ease, 6-3, 6-2.
The pre-Wimbledon grass-court competition’s final-round run by Krejcikova will help her reclaim a spot in the world’s top 10.
Later on Saturday, second seed Ostapenko defeated Anastasia Potapova of Russia 5-7 6-2 6-4 to advance to her third grass-court final.
For the fourth match this week, Latvian Ostapenko required three sets to win, and on the way to the final, she had to battle past seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.
Potapova, playing in her first grass-court semi-final, required six set points to win the opening set. Ostapenko then quickly went a double break up in the second set and forced a third set with an incredible forehand down the line.
The 2017 French Open champion took a critical break at 3-3 in the third set, striking four impressive return wins before Potapova crushed her return into the net to win the match at the very first opportunity.
Jelena Ostapenko is happy.
This is Jelena Ostapenko’s first WTA championship of the year.
“I don’t know how I accomplished it, every match has been challenging. It was a difficult match. Even when you’re not at your best, it’s crucial to win these types of games, according to Ostapenko.
“Playing in a final before Wimbledon is great for building confidence.”
Earlier, in a commanding display, Krejcikova defeated Zhu, the world’s 39th-ranked player.
The 2021 French Open champion has not dropped a set all week in Birmingham, and the victory on Monday will put her back inside the top 10 for the first time since May 2022.
“As a child, one of your goals is to be among the top 10. Although it’s great to be back, Krejcikova said, “it’s just numbers and I want to keep going.
The Czech won her first Grand Slam singles championship in 2021, however she missed a good portion of the previous season due to an elbow injury and fell in the rankings.
On grass, it’s always difficult, she added. It’s up and down, and each ball needs your whole attention. I played well because I made wise shot selections and my serve was reliable.
The final will air live on the BBC Sport website, app, and BBC iPlayer on Sunday at 14:00 BST.
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In the German Open final, Vekic will take on Kvitova.
After defeating Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 6-4, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic advanced to the German Open final where she will play 23rd-ranked Donna Vekic of Croatia.
Alexandrova’s winning streak was ended by Kvitova, who required just one break in each set and won with an ace on her second match point. The 28-year-old had won the title in’s-Hertogenbosch the previous week.
In order to make up for their quarterfinal matches being postponed on Friday due to severe rain in Germany, several players, including the two finals, had to play twice on Saturday.
Vekic defeated Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4 7-6 (10-8) in Berlin as she resumed her pursuit of a fifth career championship. Her path to the final featured a shocking victory against Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina.
The 26-year-old first defeated fortunate loser Elina Avanesyan in straight sets in their quarterfinal match on Saturday morning, with Petra Kvitova triumphing against Caroline Garcia of France, a player ranked in the top 10.
The world number nine triumphed 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to set up the semifinal matchup against Alexandrova, who had already advanced when Veronika Kudermetova of Russia, her quarterfinal opponent, withdrew due to a hip ailment.