Minella reaches first WTA final 9 months after baby

Mandy Minella of Luxembourg, returns a ball to Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic, during their semi-finals game at the WTA Ladies Championship tennis tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland, this Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Anthony Anex/Keystone via AP)

GSTAAD, Switzerland (AP) Mandy Minella has a chance at becoming the third mother to win a WTA singles title in the last 12 months after reaching the Ladies Championships Gstaad final on Saturday.

Minella, of Luxembourg, overcame 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach her first career final at 32.

She will meet top-seeded Alize Cornet of France, who beat Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (5), 1-0 when the Canadian retired with a right thigh injury in their semifinal.

"I was congratulating her after each of her matches," Cornet said of Minella. "Being a mom, it's not easy - it's such a comeback."

Minella gave birth to a daughter in October. The other mothers to win in the past year were Kateryna Bondarenko in Tashkent last year, and Tatjana Maria at Mallorca last month.

Cornet will be going for her sixth WTA singles title, but first in more than two years.

She was broken by Bouchard early but broke straight back. Cornet saved four set points in the seventh game, and Bouchard saved three in the 10th. Cornet prevailed in a tight tiebreaker by being the first to win two points in a row.

Bouchard then couldn't play on in her first semifinal in 18 months.

"If she had won the first set, maybe she would have kept going. She was playing amazing," Cornet said. "I'm glad to be in the final ... and I hope I can get to the trophy."

Updated July 21, 2018

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