March 7, 2020 / 7:15 PM / in 24 days

Kenin outlasts Van Uytvanck in three-setter to advance to Lyon final

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Women's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - February 1, 2020 Sofia Kenin of the U.S. during her match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

(Reuters) - Top seed Sofia Kenin advanced to the final of the Lyon Open after coming through a thrilling semi-final where she beat Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6(5) 6-7(2) 7-6(2) on Saturday.

Kenin, the Australian Open champion, will play her sixth career final after overcoming the fifth seed in a match that lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours and she will be up against Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam.

“It was such a tough match, it’s not often you see three set tiebreakers,” said the American after her third consecutive three-set encounter in the tournament. “She played a really tough match and it could have honestly gone either way.

“I’m super excited to make it to my sixth final.”

Kenin, 21, was not at her best and it was Van Uytvanck who had more winners and fewer unforced errors, but it was the American who held her nerve in the decisive tiebreak to advance.

Van Uytvanck looked to finish points quickly and also won more points at the net but Kenin prevailed when she was able to extend rallies, firing a few well-placed passing shots when the Belgian advanced to the net.

Earlier, the unseeded Friedsam beat seventh-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3 3-6 6-2 in a little over two hours to reach her second career final — her first since 2015 before injuries saw her fall outside the top 350 in the singles rankings.

Friedsam, 26, converted five of 11 break points while Kasatkina was let down by six double faults.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon

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