Hantuchova, Tomljanovic advance to final of Thailand Open
PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) — Daniela Hantuchova saved two match points to beat Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the Thailand Open semifinals on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Slovak is aiming to become the first player to win the tournament three times after victories in 2011 and 2012.
Hantuchova faces Ajla Tomljanovic in Sunday’s final after the Croat upset seventh-seeded Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (7) for her first career final.
Puig was the only seeded player left in the tournament at Dusit Resort.
Hantuchova netted a backhand slice to drop serve in the fifth game and lost the opening set after hitting a return long. She won the second but was in trouble again after Erakovic used her slices and persistent baseline game to build a 5-3 lead in the decider.
Hantuchova broke back to trail 5-4 and saved two match points in the next game before breaking again to lead 6-5.
Erakovic broke right back to force a tiebreaker which Hantuchova won with an ace after wasting her first match point.