17 -24 Jul 2016
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The finals are set, a Swedish star is main act in both 

Finally! We are setting up a great final here in Båstad today. Home star Johanna Larsson takes on defending champion Mona Barthel. Larsson will also star in the doubles final. We are ready, are you?

The No.4-seeded Barthel was the first to move through to the final, breaking serve six times to fight off Spanish WTA Rising Star Lara Arruabarrena after just an hour and 15 minutes, 6-3, 6-2.

Arruabarrena had taken out the No.2 seed, Samantha Stosur, earlier on in the tournament.
Larsson, the No.7 seed this week, broke three times - and never even faced a single break point herself - en route to a 6-4, 6-2 win over another WTA Rising Star, Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

"I thought I played pretty well today and I had the match right where I wanted," Larsson said.

"I think my serve worked really well, and the conditions played to my advantage. But my serve was the key today and she actually didn't have one break point, which is nice to have in your back pocket."

Larsson has some serious unfinished business going into the final. She's 0-3 in her career in WTA finals, finishing runner-up at Portoroz in 2010 (to Anna Chakvetadze) and here in Bastad twice more, first in 2011 (to Polona Hercog) then in 2013 (to 21-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams).

Can the Swede make it fourth time lucky at her home event on Sunday?

"I was here in the final at home twice before, and it always feels so nice," she commented.

"As they say, maybe the third time is a charm."

Barthel will be a new level, though. The German definitely lifts her game in big moments, going 3-1 in her career in WTA finals, and one of those titles came right here in beautiful Bastad a year ago.

Barthel has also beaten Larsson in straight sets in all three of their previous meetings. But Larsson is hoping to turn the tides this time.

"I've played Mona before and lost," she said. "It would be nice to have revenge here in Bastad."

Text: wtatennis.com
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