Zahlavova Strycova faces Beck in Luxembourg final

Annika Beck. (Kathy Willens/AP Photo)

LUXEMBOURG – Fourth-seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic will face Annika Beck of Germany in the Luxembourg Open final after both players made light work of their semifinals on Friday.

After Beck took just 47 minutes to sweep aside Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-1, the 31st-ranked Zahlavova Strycova followed up with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 win against Germany’s Mona Barthel.

Zahlavova Strycova will be playing in her fifth final as she seeks a second career title — three years after her only success at Quebec City. Beck, last year’s runner-up, goes for a first title.

Zahlavova Strycova saved the only break point she faced and broke Barthel — who had won three of their four previous meetings — twice in each set, including in the final game.

The 20-year-old Beck, ranked 60th, beat the 28-year-old Zahlavova Strycova in their only previous meeting — which came at the same tournament two years ago.

Earlier, Allertova’s serve fell apart in a first set that lasted just 21 minutes and saw her broken three times.

The 145th-ranked qualifier won only one point on her second serve in the match, double-faulting three times.

Beck won 90 per cent of her points on her first serve in the first set and 87 per cent in the second. She closed out the victory after breaking Allertova’s serve twice more in the second.

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