The duo of Romanian Irina Begu and Italian Sara Errani on Saturday advanced to the final of the Tianjin Open doubles event featuring 426,750 dollars in prize money, as they defeated the pairing Arina Sabalenka (Belarus) / Xu Yifan (China) 6-1, 7-6 (4).
Begu and Errani, who now teamed up for the first time, clinched the victory in one hour and 24 minutes, securing 9,222 dollars and 180 WTA points.
They are next pitted against seed No. 3 Dalila Jakupovic (Slovenia) / Nina Stojanovic (Serbia).
In the singles event, Begu was initially supposed to play Sabalenka in the first round, but following the withdrawal of France's Caroline Garcia she was rescheduled to play Russia's Maria Sharapova, who beat her 6-4, 6-2.
Irina Begu holds four WTA singles titles: Tashkent (2012), Seul (2015), Florianopolis (2016) and Bucharest (2017); she also lost three finals: two in 2011 at Marbella and Budapest, respectively, and in 2014 in Moscow.
She achieved five titles in doubles events at Hobart (2012, with Monica Niculescu), 's-Hertogenbosch (2013, with Anabel Medina Garrigues), Rio de Janeiro (2014, with Maria Irigoyen), Seul (2014, with Lara Arruabarrena) and Bucharest (2017, with Raluca Olaru).
Begu also ended five times as runner-up in doubles events as follows: in 2012 in the Fes Open (with Alexandra Cadantu) and Luxemburg (with Monica Niculescu), in 2015 in Rio (with Irigoyen), Wuhan and Moscow (both with Monica Niculescu).