THERE was no shortage of excitement at both the Viking Classic and the Bett1Open as a couple of surprise upsets headlined the action particularly in Berlin. With rain plaguing the Viking Classic all of the quarter and semi-finals were played making for plenty of intense battles but in the end it was Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina that set up the final showdown.
History could be in the making at the Viking Classic with Jabeur securing hard fought wins against Anastasia Potapova (6-4, 6-0) and Heather Watson (6-3, 6-3) to progress to the final day of play and gifting her a chance to win her first WTA title.
Jabeur made light work of her opponent in Potapova disposing of her in 56 minutes as the second seed went about her business in a highly clinical manner. Down early on in the match, the Tunisian knuckled down to dominate and win 11 of 12 games to topple the up and coming youngster.
“I tried not to waste my time on court, to keep my energy for a long day,” Jabeur said.
It was a slightly different story for Kasatkina who spent a little while longer out on court than Jabeur, taking an hour and 44 minutes to down Tereza Martincova 6-4 2-6 6-0 and just as long to overcome Coco Vandeweghe 6-2 6-4. The three set thriller was hard work with Kasatkina forced to work for every shot as the young Czech. Kasatkina will now play Jabeur in the final with the former looking for her third title this year in what is set to be an absolute thriller.
It has been a fairytale week for Liudmila Samsonova who has continued her run of hot form at the Bett1Open this time knocking out former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-2. It was a clinical performance from Samsonova who stifled Azarenka, getting the job done in one hour and six minutes.
The win sees her advance into her first career WTA singles final when she takes on Belinda Bencic in the main event. The Russian dug deep in her outing against the number seven seed in Azarenka with her big hitting well and truly coming to the fore.
“It’s all incredible for me, it’s so new, and I’m very happy for it,” Samsonova said, after her win. “It’s unbelievable for me.”
Samsonova had a good day out on the park with her cleanliness causing all sorts of headaches for Azarenka. In fact the win is only her second in her entire career over a Top 20 talent and she did so in style producing 24 winners including 11 aces and only making a mere six unforced errors.
She now looks ahead to Bencic who also progressed through to the final day of action thanks to a strong performance against Alizé Cornet.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a tough match because [Bencic] plays very good on this surface, and she’s a good player,” Samsonova said. “I will try to do my best and focus on my game, and we will see.”
Bencic got the job done in two sets against Cornet 7-5 6-4 to move through to yet another final. The Swiss talent has been in strong form this year and this battle was no different hitting 29 winners and only racking up 19 unforced errors for the match.
“Of course it gives me a lot of confidence,” Bencic said, after her win. “It’s always great to have this confirmation on grass that it’s working well.”
It took just under two hours for the match to be decided with both players working in overdrive as the world number 12 in Bencic dug into her bag of tricks to try and outsmart the world number 63 to advance to the final stage.
VIKING CLASSIC SEMI FINALS RESULTS:
 Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-2 6-4
 Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-3 6-3
BETT1OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-4 6-2
 Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-5 6-4
Photo credit: WTA/Jimmie48