WTA Tour

Rookies battle for first title

Tennis ball (File)
Tennis ball (File)

Tianjin - Belinda Bencic and Alison Riske will both be vying for their first WTA tour title when they face each other in the inaugural Tianjin Open final on Sunday.

Both players eliminated Chinese opponents in the semifinals on Saturday. Riske won the first nine games en route to a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Zheng Saisai, while Bencic advanced when hometown favorite Peng Shuai retired with a lower back injury while trailing 3-1.

The 17-year-old Bencic will try to become the youngest champion on the WTA tour since Tamira Paszek of Austria won in Portoroz, Slovenia, in 2006 at the age of 15.

Riske's best previous results were two semifinal appearances at Birmingham in 2010 and 2013.

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