Top seed Jarmila Groth and unseeded Alla Kudryavtseva will play their first WTA final at the $220,000 Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women’s Open in China. They both had quick victories in their semifinals. Groth beat Edina Gallovits 6-0 6-1 in 38 minutes, while Kudryavtseva bageled Zhang Shuai in the first set and won the second set 6-4 to win the match in 64 minutes.
China’s Zhang was the one who defeated probably the biggest name of the tournament, Sania Mirza, in the quarterfinals. Mirza, once ranked 27th in the world, has fallen out of the Top 100, but prior to falling to Zhang, Mirza had a winning streak of three qualifying and one main draw match at the US Open and two matches at Guangzhou.
Groth is expected to crack the Top 50 for the first time. Kudryavtseva, on the other hand, can celebrate not only her first final, but also her semifinal appearance, as her best Tour finishes before this week were five quarterfinals. Groth and Kudryavtseva played each other two times so far, and each won one match, but their last meeting was more than two years ago. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)