On Saturday, Marčinko will fight for the title against 8th seed, 16-year-old Belgian Sofia Costoulas, who beat Australian Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz 6-4, 6-1.
With the victory over 16-year-old American Hovde, Marčinko became the first Croatian tennis player to make it to the final of a junior Grand Slam tournament since Jana Fett was defeated in the Australian Open final in 2014. Tomorrow she can become the fourth Croatian to win the Australian Open Juniors singles competition, in which Mirjana Lučić (1997), Jelena Kostanić (1998), and Ana Konjuh (2013) have celebrated so far.
The semi-final duel had several plots, the first of which was created by the weather in Melbourne. Namely, after Marčinko managed to equalize at 3-3 in the first set, storm clouds loomed over Melbourne which brought the match to a close. As the players could not continue on court number 5, the match was moved to Margaret Court Arena.
In the beginning, Petra adjusted better to the indoor conditions, broke for 5-4, and served to win the first set.
In the second set, Hovde started better and took a 4-1 lead with a break advantage. However, Marčinko fought back and equalized with a series of three games. But when she served in the tenth game to stay in the set, Petra missed 40-15 and made two double faults. Hovde took advantage and carried the match to the third set.
In the beginning, Marčinko twice created an advantage by taking away the serve in the first and third games. However, in the seventh game, for the third time in the deciding set, she managed to break the opponent and took the 5-3 lead.
Petra ultimately served for a spot in the final and after a total of 102 minutes of play, nailed her first match point to qualify for her first Grand Slam final.
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