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Top seeds Krejcikova, Ostapenko to meet in Birmingham Classic final

Barbora Krejcikova Barbora Krejcikova - The Canadian Press
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BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Top-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and No. 2-seeded Jelena Ostapenko will contest the Birmingham Classic final after taking contrasting paths.

Krejcikova hasn't dropped a set all week after dispatching Zhu Lin of China 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals on Saturday.

Ostapenko played her fourth consecutive three-set match when she beat fourth-seeded Anastasia Potapova 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

In a matchup of former French Open champions, Ostapenko leads the head-to-head against Krejcikova 4-2, including winning their most recent match last month in the Italian Open third round. But they have never met on grass.

By beating Zhu, the 12th-ranked Krejcikova will return to the top 10. She will be playing for her seventh singles title on Sunday and second of the year, after the Czech won Dubai in February.

Ostapenko took more than two hours to put down Potapova. Potapova needed six set points to clinch the first set. Ostapenko built a 4-0 lead in the second to even the set score.

The Latvian snatched the decisive break in the decider when she made four return winners to take Potapova's service game at 3-3.

“It’s important to win these kind of matches when you're sometimes not playing your best, and you just fight for every point,” the 17th-ranked Ostapenko said.

In her first final in almost a year, she will be aiming for her sixth singles title.

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