Babos denies Safarova shot at second Quebec crown

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Top seed Lucie Safarova was denied a shot at a second Coupe Banque Nationale title on Saturday as she was beaten in the semi-finals by Timea Babos.

Safarova had not dropped a set on her way to the last four in Quebec City and looked a good bet to repeat her 2013 triumph, however Babos had other ideas, as she recorded a 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 win.

There was little between the pair in the first set of their fourth career meeting, both holding without much trouble as a tie-break loomed.

In a warning sign for Safarova, she needed to save a set point before going into the breaker, but rather than give the Czech a boost, it was third seed Babos who rallied.

Another four set points went begging for the Hungarian before she eventually moved ahead after nearly an hour on court.

After a break in the seventh game of the second set Babos moved 5-3 ahead, however, wrapping things up again proved a challenge, as Safarova battled to stay in the tournament.

Four match points came and went for Babos but, when serving for the match, she made no mistake to book a final berth against Alison van Uytvanck.

The seventh seed – a quarter-finalist 12 months ago – had a much easier passage into Sunday's showpiece, beating Tatjana Maria 6-1 6-2 in 67 minutes.