Published: Sunday September 16, 2012 MYT 8:59:00 AM
Flipkens books final against Hradecka
QUEBEC CITY - Unseeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens surprised third-seeded German Mona Barthel 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) Saturday to set up a clash with Lucie Hradecka in the WTA Bell Challenge final.
Both finalists will be chasing a first career WTA title. Flipkens, who toppled top-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round for her third career win over a top-20 player, is in her first WTA final at the age of 26.
"I can't believe I'm in the finals," she said. "I'm excited. I'm going to give 100 percent and we'll see what happens. This week is already perfect - I'm going to enjoy every moment of the final tomorrow."
Germany's Barthel, who won the title in Hobart in January as a qualifier, had ousted defending champion Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the quarter-finals, but had no luck against Flipkens in the two tiebreaks.
Eighth-seeded Czech Hradecka beat French teenager Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) on the indoor carpet at PEPS Laval University.
She'll be trying to break through for a WTA crown after coming up empty in four previous finals appearances.
"I was quite young in my first one in Bad Gastein, and I lost a close match, but I told myself not to worry, that I could win my second one," Hradecka said. "But then I lost that one and two more since, so I hope I can win one finally!"
The winner of this $220,000 (US) tournament will collect $37,000. - AFP