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LINZ, Austria – Alison Riske reached the finals of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz on Thursday as hers American Danielle Collins was eliminated from the match after a 5-7 defeat in the first set with an injury to her right arm.
It was the only set that was played on the day of the semi-finals, as Simona Halep with a knee injury from her Romanian game against Jaqueline Cristian was eliminated.
It is the eleventh career final and the second of the season for Riske, a native of Peters Township, after losing to Jasmine Paolini from Italy in Portoroz, Slovenia in September.
« To be honest, I have no words for it, » said the 73rd American, who has two WTA titles in her career and was 18th two years ago before various injuries forced her to stay for nine months.
“I’ve had a really rocky year. It was a slow process to come back. I get emotional when I think about it because it was definitely a trip. So I’m very grateful to be in the final. ”
Riske went 3-1 against third-seeded Collins, but equalized 3-3 and had another break 5-5 before she took the set ended a love game on her serve.
Collins, who was playing with a taped right arm, was looked after by a physical therapist, but quickly indicated that she could not continue playing. She hugged Riske before leaving the court.
The 100th-placed Romanian reached her first WTA final after Halep was eliminated a few hours before her game, citing a knee injury she sustained in Wednesday’s quarter-finals .
« I would do anything to play, but it’s swollen and painful and playing will only make it worse, » Halep wrote on Twitter.
The retreat ended the former front-runner’s streak Halep, winning at least one tournament every year since 2013.
Cristian lost in qualifying but still made the peloton after another Romanian player, Sorana Cirstea, withdrew from the event.
Cristian was only the fifth « lucky loser » since 2000 to reach a WTA final. The previous one was American Coco Gauff, who did it two years ago at the same Austrian indoor event and in the end won the title.
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