Patricia Maria Tig: Romania's Next Star? - WTA Tennis (press release)

BAKU, Azerbaijan - Young Romanian Patricia Maria Tig continued her breakthrough run at the Baku Cup on Saturday, scoring the biggest win of her career to reach the first WTA final of her career.

The 21-year-old, No.154-ranked qualifier brought out her very best tennis to beat No.42-ranked, No.1-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets in just an hour and 20 minutes, 6-3, 6-2.

The biggest turning point of the match came at 4-3 in the first set, as she reeled off six games in a row to build a 6-3, 4-0 lead. Pavlyuchenkova caught up to 6-3, 4-2, but it was just too late.

"I'm so happy, I cannot even explain it," Tig jubilated.

"It's my first WTA final. I'm playing very well right now and I'm feeling very confident."

This is only Tig's second WTA main draw - she reached the second round at her home event in Bucharest a few weeks ago, eventually getting stopped by Polona Hercog, winning only two games.

Now she's through to her first WTA final - and she hasn't even lost a set.

"I hope we'll have a great final tomorrow," she said.

"I'm just hoping it will be my best match of the week, and if not, one of the best."

Another surprise package is awaiting Tig in the final. Margarita Gasparyan, who had never even won a WTA-level match before this week, going 0-5 in five WTA main draws, kept her own breakthrough run going with a dramatic 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win against No.2 seed Karin Knapp after two hours and 32 minutes.

The 20-year-old Gasparyan looked to be cruising, 6-3, 4-0, when Knapp fought back to push it to a third set, even going up 3-1 in the decider. But Gasparyan won five games in a row to close it out.

Gasparyan had also taken out No.3 seed Dominika Cibulkova earlier in the tournament.

Gasparyan beat Tig in the pair's only previous meeting, at an ITF Women's Circuit event this year.

If Tig wins the title, she'd be the lowest-ranked player to win a WTA title this year. That record currently belongs to Teliana Pereira, who was ranked No.130 when she won in Bogotá in April.

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