Long-time doubles partners Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens will face each other in the final of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz, the last WTA tournament in the crazy 2020 season marked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Both players navigated through tough three-setters in Saturday’s semifinals. The second-seeded Mertens rallied from a set down to overcome 2018 runner-up and fourth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 2-6 6-1 7-5, while the top-seeded Sabalenka joined her in the final with a 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over Barbora Krejcikova.
The victory earned Sabalenka her first ever year-end Top 10 finish for which was gifted a cake with ten candles, as you can see in Jimmie48‘s photo gallery.
The Linz final will be the sixth meeting between the pair. Sabalenka leads their head-to-head record 3-2 and 2-1 on hard courts. Their sole meeting in 2020 was in Dubai, which Sabalenka won 6-4 6-3.
Sabalenka and Mertens have clinched four doubles titles together, including the 2019 US Open and last month’s J&T Banka Ostrava Open, which Sabalenka also won in singles.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2020 UPPER AUSTRIA LADIES LINZ:
- Friday: Sabalenka, Krejcikova, Mertens, Alexandrova reach semifinals
- Thursday: Sabalenka, Mertens move into quarterfinals
- Wednesday: Elise Mertens battles past Anhelina Kalinina to reach second round
- Tuesday: Sabalenka starts with victory, Zvonareva wins generational battle
- Monday: Greet Minnen knocks out Dayana Yastremska in first round