Tzipi Obziler 298.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
Tzipi Obziler's remarkable career reached a new high on Saturday after the 34-year-old advanced to a final of a WTA tournament for the first time in 17 years as a professional.
The Israeli, who is ranked No. 105 in the world, progressed to the title game of the $175,000 Guangzhou Women's Open in China after Russian Anastasia Rodionova (88) retired through heat exhaustion, with Obziler leading 6-1, 3-1.
Virginie Razzano (39) will try and deny the Israeli her first career title, with the 24-year-old Frenchwoman also seeking her debut tournament victory. Razzano defeated Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova (52) 3-6, 6-1, 6- 1 in the semifinal.
On Friday, Obziler, who will return to the world's top 100 when the new rankings are released on Monday, came back from a 5-3 deficit in the third set against Romanian Ioana Raluca Olaru (63) to clinch her place in the last four. The Israeli lost the first set 6-2, but claimed the second 6-1 to tie the match. Obziler lost four of the first five games of the decisive set and Olaru came within one game of the semifinal after breaking her opponent once again in the eighth game (5-3). Once again, however, Obziler dug deep and won the last four games of the third set to clinch the victory.
Shahar Pe'er will be looking to claim her fourth career doubles title on Sunday, after advancing on Saturday to the final of the Fortis Championships in Luxemburg with partner Victoria Azarenka.
Pe'er and her Belarusian partner cruised past Vera Dushevina and Tatiana Perebiynis in the semifinal on Friday, winning 6-2, 6-2 in a mere 58 minutes.
On Sunday the Israeli/Belarusian duo will face Iveta Benesova and Janette Husarova who defeated Michaella Krajicek and Vladimira Uhlirova 2-6, 6-3, 10-7.