McHale sets up Siniakova showdown


Christina McHale and Katerina Siniakova will bid to secure their first WTA title after coming through their respective semi-final clashes at the Japan Open on Saturday.

Siniakova was up first on the hard court in Tokyo, and wasted little time in seeing off Shuai Zhang 6-3 6-0 in just over an hour.

The Czech lost out to Laura Siegemund in the Swedish Open final in July, but will have another chance to break her Tour duck against McHale, who had to battle hard to overcome Jana Cepelova 6-4 3-6 7-5.

McHale, seeded seventh, recovered from a break down in the opening set to get ahead, only for Cepelova to take a 3-0 lead in the second and hold on to force a decider.

The final set saw four breaks in the opening five games, but it was the American who prevailed to seal a first final appearance since March 2014, when she lost to Dominika Cibulkova in Acapulco.