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By Chris Oddo | Saturday July 21, 2018

 
Mandy Minella

New mom Mandy Minella is thriving in Gstaad and will play for her first tour-level title on Sunday.

Photo Source: AP

Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella is back with a vengeance, and she’ll bid to become the third WTA player to claim a title after becoming a mother in a 12-month span on Sunday in Gstaad.

If she’s successful in Sunday's final Minella, 32, would join Kateryna Bondarenko (Tashkent) and Tatjana Maria (Mallorca) in that group.

Minella, who gave birth to daughter Emma Lin in October, reached her first WTA tour-level final on Saturday by defeating Czech Marketa Vondrousova, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Minella was inside the Top 100 last year when she left the sport after Wimbledon. Now ranked 226, she is poised to rise over 100 spots with a title on Sunday at Gstaad.

At all levels Minella has gone 30-12 since returning to tennis and 19-3 in her last 22 matches, according to the tennis analytics site Tennis Abstract. In an interview with Victoria Chiesa of WTATennis.com, Minella said she feels great despite the lack of sleep that motherhood comes associated with.

“I think I’ve recovered mostly 100 percent [after giving birth]," she told Chiesa. "The only thing which is a bit harder is the sleep. Physically, I feel really, really good and I think because I’m less stressed, more balanced and more calm, I recover better and I don’t need so much energy. That’s the key point."


Minella rallied from a set down to defeat Vondrousova, not facing a break point in the second and third sets to improve to 1-4 lifetime in WTA semifinals. The World No.226 broke four times on five opportunities in those final two sets and clinched her victory over the 19-year-old in one hour and 37 minutes.

Minella will face France’s Alizé Cornet in the final. Cornet advanced when Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard retired due to a thigh injury while trailing 7-6(5), 1-0.

Cornet defeated Minella in their only previous meeting at the 100k level in 2012. They have never met at the tour-level.

 

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