On a picture-perfect Saturday morning in New Haven, Usue Maitane Arconada and Russian Anna Blinkova overcame their semifinal opponents and punched their tickets into the tournament final.
For American upstart Arconada, her unexpected run in New Haven continues with a victory over No. 11 seed Heather Watson. The former British No. 1 was a perennial favorite going into the week but was unable to deal with the Arconada’s form on Saturday. After her match, Arconada attributed her success throughout the week to “concentrating on enjoying my time and competing, and overall having fun week fighting until the end in every match.” After dropping the second set, the 20-year-old American showcased a resolve beyond her years by bouncing back with an incredible 6-0 final frame. The World No. 179 is making a statement this week in New Haven.
Up next for Arconada is Russia’s Anna Blinkova, who she’ll be seeing plenty of over the next two days. Before the two get together in the singles final on Sunday, they’ll face off on Saturday afternoon with the doubles trophy on the line.
Back in singles, Blinkova dispatched semifinal opponent Lauren Davis with relative ease with a 6-2, 6-2 straight set triumph. Needing just over an hour, the World No. 84 served up four aces along with a notable 90% (19/21) 2ndreturn points won rate. She closed the door on Davis early and often, setting up a final few saw coming against Arconada.
For both players, Sunday provides them with an opportunity to do something neither has done in their young professional careers. A win will be either player’s first career WTA title, something that Arconada is not taking lightly. “It would be amazing, and I would truly be so grateful to everyone who’s been around in my career and helped me to this point.” There’s little doubt that Blinkova feels similarly heading into one of the biggest matches of her career.
With the New Haven trophy on the line on Sunday, make sure to tune in to see who can notch their first career defining accolade.