Rogers into Rio final,
to face Schiavone for title
Sally Milano | February 20, 2016
Shelby Rogers of Charleston, S.C., reached her second career WTA final Saturday after defeating former world No. 21 Sorana Cirstea of Romania, 6-4, 6-4, at the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rogers will face 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone for the title on Sunday.
"It feels amazing. I've had a really great week, played some good matches," Rogers said in her post-match press conference. "Winning this many matches in a row and playing very well is definitely a confidence builder, but I've also had to fight through some tough moments in those matches. Those are where I really get confidence from, so hopefully I can carry that into tomorrow and through the rest of the year."
Rogers, currently at No. 131 in the WTA rankings, is playing in her first WTA final since July 2014 at Bad Gastein, Austria, where she fell to Andrea Petkovic, 6-3, 6-3.ADVERTISEMENT
The 23-year-old, who qualified for the 2015 US Open and advanced to the third round, has had a solid start to the 2016 season, reaching the semifinals at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Wesley Chapel, Fla., and the singles semifinals and doubles final at the $100,000 event in Midland, Mich.
Her semifinal victory against Cirstea ended a recent hot streak for the Romanian, who had a 12-1 record going into their match after reaching back-to-back finals at two Challenger tournaments in Brazil.
Schiavone, the former world No. 4 from Italy, moved into the final – her first since 2013 – with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Petra Martic. She and Rogers will face each other for the first time in Sunday's final.
"Rogers is a player I don't know very well," Schiavone said. "But it's going to be interesting. A final is really a 50-50 chance."