(Reuters) – Camila Giorgi ended American teenager Caty McNally surprising run with a straight set victory in the semi-finals of the Citi Open in Washington on Saturday.
The big-hitting Italian, on the comeback trail after wrist and ankle injuries, prevailed in an opening tie break, then dominated the 17-year-old in the second set for a 7-6(5) 6-2 victory.
Giorgi had not won a match since the Australian Open and had competed in only three tournaments due to the injuries.
But she has lost only one set this week in ending the dream of McNally, who had ousted fourth-seeded Hsieh Su-wei on Friday.
Giorgi will face another American, Jessica Pegula, as she goes for her second WTA title in Sunday’s final.
Pegula won five consecutive games off Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya in a deciding third set to win 6-3 3-6 6-1.
Pegula, seemingly inspired by a 10-minute heat break between the second and third sets, delivered four of her nine aces and won all 12 of her first service points in the final set of her match with Kalinskaya.
“I knew if I could start off strong in the third set, I could get her,” Pegula told Tennis Channel.
The 25-year-old dominated the first set, but Kalinskaya levelled the match in the second, taking the final three games, before the big swing in Pegula’s favour.
Kalinskaya’s loss ended Russia’s bid for a third consecutive title in the U.S. capital as Ekaterina Makarova and Svetlana Kuznetsova had won the previous two tournaments.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Christian Radnedge)