By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia
The in-form Australian reached her fourth WTA final after she crushed over Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 6-4 6-1 in the first semi-final which consumed 73 minutes.
The 49th-ranked Tomljanovic is back in the Thailand Open again after reaching this stage in the 2015 edition when it was held in Pattaya. She lost to Daniella Hantuchova of the Slovak Republic that year, which was her first WTA final.
“It was a bit scrappy in the first set but I managed to clean it up in the second. I played her twice last year and knew it was going to be tough as she pushed a lot of ball back,” said Tomljanovic.
The Croatian born will be eyeing on winning her maiden title after losing all three previous finals including in Rabat and Seoul last year. She will play the final against eighteen-year-old Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine who beat Magda Linette of Poland 6-4 6-3 in the drizzle interrupted second semi-final.
“I have to play the best match out of five years to win. I really have to bring it. I’m excited to have another opportunity to win my first title. I don’t enjoy losing in the final. I have to do my best,” the Australian said.
Tomljanovic who beat the Slovenian 2-6 6-1 6-3 in the round of 16 in Seoul last year broke right from start and held on to that only break to lead 5-3. She was down 0-30 serving for the set but delivered four powerful serves to win four points in a row to take the opener in 40 minutes.
In the second set the Australian dominated play with powerful baseline game, allowing the Slovenian only one game to win the set in 33 minutes.
In the second semi-final, light rain suspended play for 10 minutes at three all in the first set. When play resumed, Yastremska and Linette held serves until the 10th game where the Ukrainian blast a forehand service return winner to take the set.
The teenager managed a break in the eighth game of the second set and comfortably held to pull off the win for her second final after winning in Hong Kong last year. She hit 29 winners in the match.
“I’m so happy. I played well. It was not easy as we had to stop due to unpredictable weather. I’m so happy to reach another final. I had to hit winners as she was consistent at the baseline. I will try to hit like this tomorrow,” said the Ukrainian who beat Tomljanovic last year in the China Open qualifying round 6-2 3-6 6-2 in September.