Venus Williams to face Lucic-Baroni in Quebec WTA final
Former world number one Venus Williams and Croatia`s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni advanced to the final of the WTA Quebec City tournament with semi-final triumphs Saturday.
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams, ranked 19th and coming off a third-round exit at the US Open, defeated American fourth seed Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-3 while Lucic-Baroni advanced to her first WTA final since 1998 by defeating German fifth seed Julia Goerges 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.
Williams seeks her 46th career WTA title and second of the year after taking the trophy at Dubai.
Lucic-Baroni, a 32-year-old former teen star, won her only two WTA titles on home soil at the 1997 and 1998 Croatian Opens, beating American Corina Morariu in each final.
Williams, 34, saved nine break-point chances created by 21-year-old Rogers in the first set of their semi-final, seven of them on the way to a 4-1 lead.
With Williams serving for the match, Rogers finally claimed her only break to pull within 5-3, only to have Williams break back in the ninth game to claim the victory after 81 minutes.
After three years spent mostly away from the tour, Lucic-Baroni returned in 2007 and has shown her best form in more than a decade in recent weeks.
She reached the fourth round at the US Open, a Grand Slam run she only bettered with a trip to the 1999 Wimbledon semi-finals.
Firing nine aces and seven double faults, Lucic-Baroni was broken in the final game of the second set by Goerges but won five of the next six games to seize command on her way to victory after two hours and 23 minutes.