Krasnoroutskaya into final Rogers AT&T Cup
Krasnoroutskaya beat Clijsters in the third round
Russian teenager Lina Krasnoroutskaya reached her first final at a top-tier WTA Tour event by beating Paola Suarez 6-4 4-6 7-5 in the AT&T Cup semi-final in Toronto.
Krasnoroutskaya, ranked 38th in the world will meet French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne in Sunday's final.
Henin-Hardenne, the tournament's number two, broke up a possible all-Russian final by beating ninth-seeded Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-7 6-2.
Earlier in the week, Krasnoroutskaya beat new world number one Kim Clijsters in the third round and said that still had not sunk in.
"Maybe I will think about it next week or something, but not this week," Krasnoroutskaya said.
The Russian has a difficult challenge against Henin-Hardenne, who has excellent court coverage and a powerful serve.
"I'll be the favourite on paper, but on the court, we have no history so it will be a tough match," Henin-Hardenne said.
"I believe in my chances and I'll come to win for sure."
Story from www.tennisrulz.com by Richard Paveley
Rogers AT&T Cup - Toronto Lina Krasnoroutskaya V Paola Suarez 6-4 4-6 7-5
The Dream place in this years Rogers At&T Cup has finally come true for Lina and her fans after she continued her excellent form today, beating Argentinian Paola Suarez in 3 sets.
Showing all the attributes of a top 20 player Lina combined power, guile, mental strength and excellent match tactics in her victory - proving that winning this Tier 1 event is not beyond her.
With the match scheduled for 1pm and the high temperatures on center court fitness levels would be a factor in the outcome of this semi final. With Lina playing doubles well into the night the day before the question arose - would Lina struggle and tire? The answer at the end of the match was clearly no.
She had a shaky start to the 1st game but Lina overcame her nerves to hold serve and the match progressed on serve up and till 2-2. The 1st break of the set came with Lina serving into the sun - some wayward forehands gifted the break to the Argentinian. However the break seemded to shock her into playing and she immediately upped her level of tennis and broke Suarez straight back. Unforced errors began to creep into both players games but it was Lina who eventually ran out the winner of this set - breaking Suarez at 4-4 she closed out the 1st set to win 6-4.
After playing some great tennis at the end of the 1set set Lina lost concentration at the start of the 2nd. She lost her 1st service game and allowed Suarez to hold - her level of tennis had dropped off, her movement around the court had decreased and Suarez was looking the more impressive player. Just as it looked as though Lina had lost that edge - the match changed again. Both players began to play much better with hard hitting rallies and excellent court coverage, it was touch and go as to who would come out victorious in this important 2nd set. The games progressed on serve and although Lina was playing much better she couldnt find that elusive break of serve that she needed and in the end Suarez deservedly won the set 6-4.
With the match 1hour and 11minutes old the 3rd set began. Following 2 previous sets of high energy aggressive tennis the fitness levels of the players would play a key role in the outcome. Lina began with the perfect start producing some excellent powerful backhands she quickly won her opening service game and she looked full of confidence.
Suarez though wasnt going to give up with out a fight, she broke Lina at 1-1 and with the set delicately poised Lina had to recapture some of the high quality of tennis that helped her beat Clijsters in round 3, she dug in and broke back to level at 3-3. The pressure was growing with each passing game and Suarez was having more difficulty holding her serve and finally after 2hours and 15minutes the decisive break came. Lina broke to take the match to 6-5 - the pressure was immense but she showed maturity beyond her years and with one final powerful forehand she took the final point of the match and booked her place in this years final.
This years tournament in Toronto is by far more than Lina could have ever hoped for, a final in a Tier 1 event is a fantastic achievment for her. After her long injury absence many questioned if she could return to the form she was in previous to the ankle problems, this week in Toronto Lina has emphatically answered those questions.
Can she win the Final? she will face either Henin-Hardenne or her good friend and doubles partner Elena Dementieva. It will be a tough match whoever she faces in the final later today but no matter the outcome Lina can look back at her Rogers AT&T experience and say that this was the tournament that showed the tennis world - Lina is Back.