Rodionova v Cabrera in US Open play-off final
Arina Rodionova and Lizette Cabrera will battle for a US Open main-draw wildcard when they face off in Sunday's final at New Haven.
Arina Rodionova and Lizette Cabrera will do battle for a wildcard into the main draw of the US Open.
The pair advanced to the final of the wildcard play-off in New Haven on Saturday with contrasting semifinal victories.
Cabrera took on Olivia Rogowska, scoring an early break and building a 4-1 first-set lead with some exceptional returning against an error-prone Rogowska.
Although she fell behind an early break in the second, the Queenslander wrested control of the match and ran out a 6-2 6-3 winner, helped by her steadiness on the big points and her ability to turn defence into attack.
Rodionova, meanwhile, had her hands full with the big-hitting Destanee Aiava in the second semifinal.
From a break down in the first set, Aiava reeled off six of the next eight games to pocket the first set. Yet Rodionova, defending and retrieving tirelessly, extended the rallies and broke Aiava down, levelling the match at a set apiece.
Up 2-0 with a break in the third, Aiava couldn’t captialise. Rodionova won six games in a row, her experience and superior physical conditioning proving decisive.
Having qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon last month, Rodionova will aim to seal a place in her second Grand Slam main draw.
Both she and Cabrera have hit career-high rankings in recent weeks; Rodionova peaked at No.130 in late July (and currently sits at No.131) while Cabrera is currently at her highest-ever ranking of 152nd.