World No. 1 and top-seeded Ashleigh Barty will be joined by wild card Jil Teichmann, who beat her second top 10 opponent at the Western & Southern Open, in the women’s singles final following semifinal wins Saturday.
Facing Angelique Kerber in a rematch of the Wimbledon semifinals, Barty defeated the two-time Cincinnati finalist in an hour and 14 minutes 6-2, 7-5 to earn her first Western & Southern Open finals appearance. The Australian is the first finalist to not drop a set heading into the final match since Simona Halep in 2017.
With the win, Barty moves to the top of the WTA match wins leaderboard with 39 in 2021. This will be Barty’s sixth finals appearance of the 2021 season and her 19th career final.
“I feel like it's been a really nice week of building momentum both kind of in the way I have been playing my matches and obviously to be in another match playing for a title is really exciting, particularly here
at Cincinnati,” Barty said. “It's such a world-class event, an event that's been going on for years and years. To be able to play tomorrow in a final match is really cool.”
Defeating World No. 2 Naomi Osaka and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic en route to the semifinals, Teichmann took care of fourth-ranked and 2016 champion Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-4. Her two wins against top 10 players at the 2021 Western & Southern Open mark the third time in the last four years that an unseeded finalist knocked off a pair of top 10 talent to reach the finals.
At No. 76, Teichmann is the lowest-ranked player to reach the finals since 2008 (Nathalie Dechy, 92). In addition to reaching her first career WTA 1000 final, Teichmann is the third consecutive Western & Southern Open wild card to make it to the finals.
“Tomorrow I'm going to be the underdog,” Teichmann said. “It's just logic. Anyone playing against Ash is
going to be the underdog. She's going to be watching videos...It's the first time we will meet, and I also have to do my homework.”
The final begins at 2 p.m. Sunday on Center Court.
Recap presented by The Recovery Room