Hobart: Canada's Eugenie Bouchard will play Alize Cornet of France in the final of the Hobart International after overcoming the top remaining seed Dominika Cibulkova in Friday's semi-final.
The former world number five showed glimpses of her best form to claim a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over third seeded Cibulkova of the Slovak Republic in two hours to reach the final. Seventh seed Cornet breezed past Sweden's Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-1 in the other semi-final to reach Saturday's final in just 54 minutes.
Bouchard, who has beaten three seeded players to reach the final, hit 32 winners in the match to overpower the Slovak. The first set lasted just 22 minutes. Bouchard played near perfect tennis, conceding just 10 points.
"That was a great level for me, I can't remember the last time I played that well," Bouchard said. The momentum switched in the second set, with both players struggling to hold serve. "She definitely stepped up and started hitting a lot deeper, putting me more on my back foot and there was less I could do," Bouchard said.
"At the same time, I wasn't as proactive as I was in that first set." After eight consecutive service breaks, Cibulkova held in the ninth game then broke the Bouchard serve again to level the match. A frustrated Bouchard slammed her racquet into the court and received a code violation.
"I didn't hold once in the second set, which is absolutely disgusting, I was disappointed in myself for that," Bouchard said. "I played so well in that first set. I think it was hard to almost keep it up, because I just expected it to keep going easy, and you always have to work for it and keep going.
"It was another lesson I learnt and I definitely want to control my emotions a little bit better as well." One break was the difference in a high quality final set, as Bouchard swept into her first WTA Tour final since September 2014.