Alexandrova fends off Zhu, makes Cleveland final


CLEVELAND — Fourth-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia won the final four games in the second set to complete a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Lin Zhu of China in the semifinals of Tennis in the Land on Friday.

Alexandrova, ranked No. 22 in the world, held serve on her final five opportunities after No. 48 Zhu pulled even at 5-5 in the opening set. She was pushed to break point twice during the 81-minute match, losing one.

“It always feels great to be in a final, and to do it in Cleveland is great because I always love to play here,” said Alexandrova, who has competed in all three of the WTA 250 tournaments at the Nautica Entertainment Complex.

“Some things worked, some things didn’t, but I’m really happy with my game. It was a pretty good match.”

Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, who received a lucky loser berth into the 32-woman field, will meet Alexandrova in the championship match on Saturday.

No. 95 Sorribes Tormo defeated No. 49 Tatjana Maria of Germany 6-4, 6-3 in the second semifinal in 1 hour, 53 minutes — featuring extended baseline volleys.

Alexandrova, the lone seed to advance past the quarterfinals, is seeking her second title of the year after winning the Libéma Open in the Netherlands. Sorribes Tormo’s only career singles crown occurred in 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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