Elise Mertens maintained her formidable post-COVID lockdown pace, reaching her second final of the season on Saturday.

The Belgian will play for the trophy on Sunday at the Upper Austrian Ladies in Linz after defeating Ekaterina Alexandrova with a 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 fightback.

The second seed will wait for an opponent from her top-seeded longtime doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka, or Czech Barbora Krejcikova.

Alexandrova lost the final here two years ago and went down to Mertens in just over two hours.

Mertens has been on fire since tennis returned from the COVID pause which lasted five months and only ended in August.

The first week back, Mertens got to the final on clay in Prague. She followed up with a “Cincinnati” semi-final (played in quarantine in New York) and a second straight showing in the US Open quarters.

The win levelled the career series between the pair at one win each. Alexandrova came into the match without having dropped a set all week.

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