Alexandrova, last year’s Linz runner-up, had things all her way in the first set, as her great groundstroke game was on point while the unforced errors from the fiery Ostapenko piled up. The Russian slammed an ace on her second set point as she picked up the opening frame in 30 minutes, putting herself within one set of making a second consecutive Linz final.
Ostapenko found herself down an early break in the second set as well but pulled level at 3-3 as more winners started to flow from her racquet. Nevertheless, Alexandrova remained unbothered, and after saving three break points to reach 4-4, the Russian swiftly broke Ostapenko at love to reach 5-4 and serve for the match.
Alexandrova fired an ace to reach her first match point in that game, but she missed that chance after letting a backhand fly long, and succumbed to a break from there, tying the set at 5-5. They moved into a tiebreak to decide the second set, where, at 5-5, Alexandrova missed a forehand wide to hand Ostapenko a first set point. There, the Russian fired a service return wide, and the tilt was deadlocked at one set apiece.
More to follow….