Australia’s Astra Sharma is one step away from winning her first WTA Tour title.
This morning in Charleston at the WTA 250 Musc Health Women’s Open she overcame the impressive 19 year old Colombian Maria Camila Osorio Serrano who gained special entry this week due to her breakout win on the WTA Tour last week on home soil in Bogota. It ended the 2019 US Open Junior Champions 8 game winning streak.
The first set was a titanic struggle that went 59 minutes with Sharma prevailing in a tie breaker, once again having to be physically solid in a week where she has had to fight and scrap to earn victory as well as use her tactical nous.
With the first set under her belt, she asserted her authority in the 2nd set with her all court game on display to run away with a 7-6, 6-1 win to advance to her 2nd WTA final.
Her kick serve worked to great effect, she was strong off the ground playing smart clay court tennis getting balls into uncomfortable areas for her opponent as well as her ability to get forward, gave the 25 year old Australian the edge.
Her opponent in the final will be Tunisian Ons Jabeur who will also be trying to win her first title on the WTA Tour. The 2020 Australian Open quarter finalist was too strong for Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-0.
Jabeur is a great story of hard work, flying the flag for her country with an Australian connection in Shane Liyanage from Data Driven Sports Analytics a key strategist in her match preparation. She is at a career high ranking of 25 and will go in as the favourite, but Sharma is playing some good tennis, who has seen what the top 100 looks like before getting to career high 85 in 2019.
She has picked up 30 spots this week to be 135 in the live rankings, a win would push her to around the 120 mark “I watched [Jabeur] a little bit today,” Sharma said. “She’s obviously playing really well. I’m really excited. I’ve never played her. I can’t wait to get out there. I’m playing really well and it will be fun to match up and see how I go.”
A big Australian flavour awaits on the final day in Charleston with top seeds Storm Sanders and Ellen Perez to feature in the doubles final against American duo Hailey Baptiste and Catherine McNally.
They have been sublime so far, as they look to put the icing on the cake of a great work to date. Then it will be Sharma vs Jabeur, for one it will be a moment of euphoria to win their 1st WTA tour title. Set the alarm for 2am AEST Monday Morning.
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