Elina Svitolina claimed her first WTA Tour title of the year with a hard-fought win over Marie Bouzkova in the Monterrey Open final.

The Ukrainian top seed needed three hours to overcome Czech ninth seed Bouzkova 7-5 4-6 6-4 in the decider of the WTA International event.

It marked Svitolina's 14th Tour crown but first since late 2018, when she won the WTA Finals.

Bouzkova, playing her first WTA Tour final, battled hard before falling short against the world number seven.

Svitolina came from a break down to win the opening set before Bouzkova levelled the match by taking the second.

There were five breaks of serve in the final set, with Bouzkova recovering from 4-1 and 5-2 down to get back on serve before getting broken in the 10th game.

Elina Svitolina continued her impressive run to reach the Monterrey Open final, while Johanna Konta was beaten on Saturday.

Svitolina, the top seed at the WTA International event, crushed Arantxa Rus 6-0 6-1 in just 51 minutes in their semi-final.

The Ukrainian lost just nine points on serve and is yet to drop a set at this year's tournament.

Svitolina is into her 17th WTA Tour final and first of 2020, while she will be aiming for her first title since 2018.

Awaiting her in the decider is Marie Bouzkova, who beat second seed Konta 6-3 6-4.

Bouzkova, the Czech ninth seed, saved all five break points she faced to reach her maiden WTA Tour final.

Top seed Elina Svitolina reached her first WTA semi-final of the season after accounting for teenager Leylah Fernandez at the Monterrey Open, while Johanna Konta prevailed in a marathon.

Svitolina had not progressed to a semi-final since last year's season-ending WTA Finals, but the Ukrainian ended her drought by defeating 17-year-old sensation Fernandez 6-3 7-5.

World number seven Svitolina needed 98 minutes to book her spot in the final four of the WTA International event in Monterrey on Friday as Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands awaits.

Swedish sixth seed Rebecca Peterson was humbled 6-1 6-1 by Rus in the day's final match.

Number two seed Konta produced a stunning comeback to trump Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

Konta rallied from 5-2 down in the final set and saved two match points to outlast 18-year-old Potapova in a remarkable encounter in Mexico.

Next up is ninth seed Marie Bouzkova, who beat eighth seed Wang Yafan 6-2 7-5.

Elina Svitolina and Johanna Konta eased into the Monterrey Open quarter-finals on Thursday.

Svitolina, the top seed at the WTA International event, was too strong for Belarusian Olga Govortsova 6-3 6-4 in one hour, 18 minutes.

The Ukrainian managed four breaks of serve in her victory, moving into a last-eight clash with Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez.

Konta was pushed more but still got past German Tatjana Maria 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

The British second seed was wasteful, converting just one of 12 break points to advance.

Russian Anastasia Potapova awaits in the quarter-finals after overcoming Tamara Zidansek 1-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Arantxa Rus also booked a spot in the last eight thanks to a 7-5 6-0 victory over American 10th seed Lauren Davis.

Sloane Stephens was bundled out of the WTA Monterrey Open as teenage sensation Leylah Fernandez reached the quarter-finals 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3.

Stephens broke through for her first win of 2020 to book her spot in Wednesday's second-round match following a difficult start to the year.

But the American fifth seed was upstaged by 17-year-old Fernandez, who rallied past the 2017 US Open champion in three sets midweek.

Fernandez was a surprise finalist at last week's Mexican Open in Acapulco, where the Canadian reached her maiden WTA decider.

The in-form teenager moved through to back-to-back quarter-finals after prevailing in more than two hours against Stephens, with either top seed Elina Svitolina or Olga Govortsova awaiting.

Elsewhere at the WTA International event, sixth seed Rebecca Peterson defeated Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (7-2) 7-5, seventh seed Wang Yafan outlasted Astra Sharma 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 and ninth seed Marie Bouzkova beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4 6-1.

Kim Clijsters suffered another loss as her comeback continued at the Monterrey Open, while Victoria Azarenka started her 2020 with a defeat on Tuesday.

Back after more than seven years off the WTA Tour, Clijsters fell to a second straight loss, going down to second seed Johanna Konta 6-3 7-5 in the first round.

Clijsters, a wildcard at the WTA International tournament, managed to win just 12 return points in the 85-minute loss as Konta posted her first win of the year.

The four-time grand slam champion has been handed two tough draws this year, having lost to Garbine Muguruza in Dubai last month.

Playing for the first time since last year's US Open, seventh seed and last year's runner-up Azarenka was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Tamara Zidansek.

Top seed Elina Svitolina cruised through the opening round with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Danka Kovinic.

American 10th seed Lauren Davis also eased through, while there were wins for Anastasia Potapova, Leylah Fernandez, Arantxa Rus, Kateryna Bondarenko and Tatjana Maria.

Sloane Stephens won her first match of 2020 after prevailing at the WTA Monterrey Open, while Venus Williams' woes continued.

Stephens – the American fifth seed – ended her drought by outlasting Emma Navarro 6-4 5-7 6-1 in Monterrey on Monday.

Prior to this week, Stephens had featured in four tournaments without a win, including a first-round exit at the Australian Open.

But the 2017 US Open champion finally opened her account for the year via the WTA International event after two hours, 17 minutes.

Former world number one Williams and her winless year continued, however, following a 4-6 6-3 6-2 defeat to qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Seven-time grand slam winner Williams battled but the 39-year-old was eventually eliminated after two hours, 29 minutes on court.

Elsewhere, Wang Yafan, Rebecca Peterson, Olga Govortsova, Astra Sharma and Marie Bouzkova progressed to the second round.

Kim Clijsters feels her game is "improving" ahead of the second match of her comeback against Johanna Konta at the Monterrey Open.

After a creditable performance in defeat to Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza at the Dubai Tennis Championships last month, the 36-year-old's return to the sport continues this week.

She meets world number 16 Konta in the first round on Tuesday and continues to make positive steps.

"I feel like with the tennis that I've been playing, I'm improving," four-time grand slam winner Clijsters said ahead of her match in Mexico.

"In practice, I'm moving better, I'm reacting better, I'm making better decisions. 

"It has to happen in the match now. The more matches I get to play, the more that will improve a little bit, and we'll see how far I can go.

"I still have a good level in me. I've played one official match so far and some practice sets so I would like to have more matches. That's the only way that I can practice certain things that you can only learn from matches."

The 6-2 7-6 (8-6) loss to Muguruza in Dubai was Clijsters' first contest since losing to Laura Robson in the second round of the US Open in August 2012.

Clijsters is braced for disappointments and setbacks in her return to the tour, but understands she will have to go through that in order to be competitive once more.

"It's a process of ups and downs," she said. "That is something you have to understand.

"It comes with failure, but I think it's how you deal with the moments where it's the toughest. That is when you improve the most, when you learn the most about yourself and when you are capable of improving. 

"That was something I was always able to do well. When I lost in the past I was disappointed, but after a certain amount of time, I was able to make that switch in my head and use it, and that's how I was able to become better. 

"It's that kind of mindset. It's important to not get discouraged about the losses and use it to motivate you even more."

Clijsters can take optimism from the fact Konta has lost all three of her matches in 2020, with the Briton having never played her before.

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