Dolehide beats Kenin to reach first WTA final in Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA, Mexico: Caroline Dolehide beat former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 7-5, 6-3 to reach a first career WTA final at the prestigious 1000-level event in Guadalajara on Saturday.

Playing in her first career semi-final, Dolehide rallied in each set to win the all-American semi. She'll face either second-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece or third-seeded Caroline Garcia of France in Saturday's title match.

Dolehide, 25 and ranked 111th in the world, became the third unseeded finalist at a WTA 1000 event this year after Karolina Muchova in Cincinnati and Barbora Krejcikova in Dubai.

She's the second 1000 level finalist ranked outside the top 100 since the format was introduced in 2009.

Dolehide was down a break at 4-2 in the first set when she reeled off three straight games to take a 5-4 lead on the way to pocketing the set.

Trailing 3-1 in the second, Dolehide won five straight games for the victory, saving five break points in the final game before claiming the win on her first match point.

Dolehide's gritty victory follows a quarter-final win over Italian Martina Trevisan in which Dolehide saved four match points. -- AFP

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