Nanchang 2019: Final countdown

MATCH POINTS

The 2019 Nanchang final will be the first meeting between No.4 seed Elena Rybakina and No.5 seed Rebecca Peterson, and will mark the first non-Chinese champion in the tournament’s four-year history.
20-year-old Rybakina will be playing her second final in just her 10th WTA main draw. The Kazakh lifted her maiden trophy in Bucharest in July. Having lost five of her first six professional finals on the ITF circuit, Rybakina has now won four in a row, having also picked up ITF titles in Launceston, Moscow and Kazan this year.

Peterson will contest her maiden final at WTA level. The 24-year-old had an 11-3 record in finals at ITF level between 2013 and 2018, with her biggest title to date being the 2018 ITF W100 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, where she defeated Ons Jabeur and Dayana Yastremska in the last two rounds.

Peterson is bidding to become the eighth Swedish WTA singles titlist in the Open Era, following Ingrid Lofdahl (1972 Bastad champion), Catrin Jexell (1982 Hong Kong champion), Catarina Lindqvist (five-time champion between 1984 and 1991), Cecilia Dahlman (1989 and 1990 Athens champion), Asa Svensson (1999 Kuala Lumpur and 2002 Bol champion), Sofia Arvidsson (2006 and 2012 Memphis champion) and Johanna Larsson (2015 Bastad champion and 2018 Nurnberg champion).

Elena Rybakina is the third woman representing Kazakhstan to lift a WTA trophy following Zarina Diyas (Tokyo 2017) and Yulia Putintseva (Nurnberg 2019). Both Ksenia Pervak and Yaroslava Shvedova won their sole titles prior to switching nationality to Kazakhstan. Rybakina is guaranteed to break the Top 50 for the first time next week.