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TENNIS

Ukrainian mom reaches WTA final

Former world No. 3 Elina Svitolina reached her first WTA final since becoming a mother last year, beating France’s Clara Burel in three sets on Friday in Strasbourg.

The Ukrainian, who returned to action last month after more than a year away, came from behind to defeat Burel 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and set up a title decider with Anna Blinkova of Russia.

Svitolina, the Strasbourg champion in 2020, was a set and 4-1 down before fighting back to make her first tour-level final since winning the last of her 16 career titles in Chicago two years ago.

She stepped back from tennis in March 2022, in a year which was traumatic for the 28-year-old because of the war in her native Ukraine.

In Geneva Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov will face giantkiller Nicolas Jarry in the Geneva Open final on Saturday after the Chilean downed Alexander Zverev in the semis to spoil his French Open preparations.

Dimitrov, the world No. 33, overturned the odds in Friday’s last four when he beat US second seed Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) in a contest with the world No. 9 that lasted nearly three hours.

But Jarry, ranked 54, pulled off an upset of his own by beating Zverev 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

It was a second straight scalp for Jarry, who knocked out top seed and world No. 4 Casper Ruud, the 2021 and 2022 defending champion, in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Zverev has reached the French Open semifinals twice in a row but the German world No. 27 will need to be on much better form next week in Paris if he maintains that streak.

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