Chennai Open: Teenager Fruhvirtova beats Podoroska to reach final

CHENNAI, Sep 17: Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova rallied from a set down to beat Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the singles semifinal of the Chennai Open WTA 250 tennis tournament here on Saturday.
The 17-year old, ranked 130 in the world, won in 2 hours and 53 minutes to reach her maiden WTA Tour event final.
In a closely fought deciding set, Fruhvirtova played some impressive shots off both flanks to win key points and deny Podoroska a final berth.
Podoroska won a close first set after having taken a 5-2 lead. The Czech teenager fought back from 2-5 down.
At 4-5, Furhvirtova broke the experienced Argentine’s serve, only to drop her own serve in the next game. Podoroska held serve to take the first set.
The second set saw Fruhvirtova dominate her opponent, a former Grand Slam singles semifinalist. After a marathon opening set lasting 77 minutes, the teenager clinched it 6-2 in quick time.
In the decider, Podoroska secured a break to go 3-2 up. However, she could not hold her serve in the eighth game as the Czech player caught up at 4-all.
Furhvirtova secured the crucial break in the ninth game and a chance to close out the match. Podoroska saved three match points and kept the fight going. ? However, she double-faulted on the fourth match point to hand the match to her young opponent.
“It was the best atmosphere I played in. So, thank you guys,” she said after the win. It was a huge battle. She fought hard,” Furhvirtova said about her semi-final opponent.
Britain’s Katie Swan will meet third-seeded Magda Linette (Poland) in the second semifinal later.
Earlier in the women’s doubles semifinal, the top-seeded Canadian-Brazilian duo of Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani eased through to a 6-3 6-3 win over Peangtarn Plipuech and Moyuka Uchijima.
In the final on Sunday, they will meet Anna Blinkova and Natela Dzalamidze.
Results: Singles (semifinals): Linda Fruhvirtova (Czech Republic) beat Nadia Podoroska (Argentina) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
Doubles (semifinal): Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) and Luisa Stefani (Brazil) beat Peangtarn Plipuech and Moyuka Uchijima 6-3, 6-3. (PTI)