Unseeded Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy advanced to her first WTA final in four years after upsetting fifth-seeded compatriot Amelie Mauresmo on Saturday, and will face Russian No. 2 seed Nadia Petrova for the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open title.
Mauresmo had entered the semifinal match with a 5-2 lead in the career series against Dechy, including wins in their last three meetings, but Dechy ended the streak as she broke Mauresmo for the sixth time in the match to secure the 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win in two hours and nine minutes.
It marked Dechy’s third straight win over a seeded player this week; she prevailed in a third-set tie-break against No. 4 seed Katarina Srebotnik in the second round and defeated No. 6 Aleksandra Wozniak in straight sets in the quarterfinals.
The 29-year-old Dechy, currently ranked No. 92, is through to her fifth career final. She won the 2003 Gold Coast title, and come up just shy of the title in 2000 at Oklahoma and Estoril and in 2004 at New Haven. She reached a career-high No. 11 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings in January 2006.
Former World No. 1 Mauresmo was looking to reach her first final since June 2007 at Eastbourne.
Following a slow start to her semifinal match, Nadia Petrova regrouped to defeat No. 3 seed and fellow Russian 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 47 minutes. She won six of her eight break point chances in the final two sets to even the career series against her compatriot at 3-all.
Petrova will be looking to win her eighth career singles title, and her first since February 2007 at Paris (d. Safarova). Since then, she has gone 0-3 in finals, finishing as a runner-up last year at Amelie Island (l. to Golovin) and Los Angeles (l. to Ivanovic) and in June at Eastbourne (l. to Radwanska).
The 26-year-old Petrova, a former World No. 3, is currently ranked No. 21 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings. She improves to a 25-16 record with Saturday's win.
Petrova will also contest Sunday's doubles final with Kirilenko. The No. 2 seeded duo will face top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-1, 6-1 winners over Americans Madison Brengle and Kristy Frilling.