May 4, 2018 / 6:19 PM / 21 days ago

Mertens to meet Tomljanovic in Rabat final

(Reuters) - Belgian Elise Mertens swatted aside Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei 6-0 6-2 at the Rabat Grand Prix in Morocco on Friday to reach her third final of the year.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Fed Cup World Group First Round - France vs Belgium - Vendespace, La Roche-sur-Yon, France - February 11, 2018 Belgium's Elise Mertens in action during her singles match against France's Kristina Mladenovic REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

The top seed will face Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in Saturday’s final.

Mertens stormed out of the blocks, with Hsieh unable to cope with her opponent’s all-action style and the Belgian barely broke a sweat as she wrapped up the one-sided affair in under an hour.

Hsieh made 26 unforced errors as she imploded under the variety of shots and inventiveness of Mertens’ play.

“I’m really happy about my game,” Mertens said courtside. “Of course... (Hsieh is) a great player too, she has a lot of experience.”

Mertens, who has risen to 19 in the world rankings after wins in Hobart and Lugano this year, will take some stopping on current form.

Unseeded Tomljanovic beat seventh seed Aleksandra Krunic 7-5 6-2 in the other semi-final after fighting her way back from 5-3 down to win the first set.

“It’s kind of surreal standing here, because she is a really tough opponent, especially on clay, and I felt that could have gone either way,” Tomljanovic said after levelling her head-to-head record against the Serb at a victory apiece.

Krunic led the Australian on winners by 23 to 16, but paid a heavy price for her determination to find the lines with almost every shot, giving up 41 unforced errors that ultimately made the difference.

“I put in a lot of work to be here,” Tomljanovic added. “The work is still not done, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean

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