Elise Mertens is the first seed to make the singles final of the singles tournament – last year’s inaugural edition, held in Biel/Bienne, featuring qualifier Marketa Vondrousova beating Anett Kontaveit.
While Elise Mertens was taken to three sets in three of her four matches leading up to Sunday’s singles final (each time losing the second set of the match), Aryna Sabalenka dropped just one set – to seventh seed Mihaela Buzarnescu, in the first knockings of the first round.
Mihaela Buzarnescu, whom Aryna Sabalenka beat in the first round, was the only seed either finalist faced en route to Sunday’s singles showpiece.
Aryna Sabalenka is competing in her second career WTA singles final, the World No.61 having previously lost to Maria Sharapova in straight sets at the Tianjin Open last year.
World No.20 Elise Mertens is playing in her second WTA singles final of 2018, the Belgian hoping to replicate her January title in Hobart, when she overcame Mihaela Buzarnescu. Mertens also played two finals in 2017, winning again in Hobart, against Monica Niculescu, before losing in the Istanbul Cup, to Elina Svitolina.
Elise Mertens plays in the final of both the singles and doubles tournaments on Sunday, hoping to replicate her feat from Hobart earlier this year, where she won both WTA titles. That doubles crown was her third such success, after titles in Auckland in 2016, alongside An-Sophie Mestach, and in 2017, in Guangzhou partnering Demi Schuurs.
Both doubles pairs have dropped one set en route to Sunday’s final, top seeds Elise Mertens and Kirsten Flipkens being taken the distance by Russians Natela Dzalamidze and Veronika Kudermetova in round one while Vera Lapko and Aryna Sabalenka were pegged back in the semifinal by Abigail Spears and Alicja Rosolska.
Vera Lapko and Aryna Sabalenka have beaten two seeds to make the final, overcoming Monique Adamczak and Xenia Knoll, seeded four, in the quarterfinal before beating second seeds Abigail Spears and Alicja Rosolska in Saturday’s semifinal. Kirsten Flipkens and Elise Mertens will go the whole tournament without facing a seed.