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Grabher makes his way to his first WTA final in Rabat

Grabher makes his way to his first WTA final in Rabat

The pupil of Gunter Bresnik will meet either former US Open winner Sloane Stephens (USA), the second seed, or Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti in the final on Saturday. Grabher already has 180 WTA points and total prize money of $20,226. In the live rankings, it climbed into the top 60 for the first time.

“One last! To be able to play a WTA Tour final for the first time is amazing and a great reward, I have nothing to lose tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” said Graber after her important victory. As a finalist, she will likely only play her first match against a qualifier at the French Open on Tuesday. For Grabher, this is the first show in the main draw of Roland Garros or its second major tournament after last January’s Australian Open (first-round elimination).

Grabher went into the bout as the heavy favorite, even though Riera (WTA-195) had knocked out two pre-seeded players. It started strong with the break to make it 2-0. With another 5:1 game and zero serve, Dornbirner quickly had the first set pocketed.

In the second set she was already leading 3:1, but then had to accept a re-break to make it 3:3. She couldn’t use two break balls to make it 4:3 and had to give up serve to make it 3:5 and then the set. The third set started with three losses on serve together, two of which Graber suffered. She fell 1:3 and 2:4 behind, but then managed a second pass to make it a 4:4 clean sheet. In the tie-break, she was initially behind 0: 2. But in the end, Graber once again explained why she had such an upward trend lately: strong nerves and fighting strength. I used the second match ball to my greatest success to date.

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“In the first set I did everything I had planned, but then I lost a bit,” Grabber reviewed the match. She lost momentum and made her opponent strong while making a lot of mistakes. “It was a very difficult match, very close. The decisive factor was that I always believed in him and kept my curiosity in my mind.”