Cibulkova beats qualifier to reach Connecticut Open final

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia beat qualifier Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-1, 6-3 on Friday to reach the Connecticut Open final.

Cibulkova is looking for her first title of the season in the final tuneup before the U.S. Open, which begins Monday. She will face the winner of the semifinal between top-seeded defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska and Daria Gavilova.

Cibulkova, seeded second and ranked 11th, broke Mertens five times in the 70-minute match. This will be her first final in eight appearances in New Haven.

Mertens, who won her first career title in Hobart, Australia in January, went up a break early in the second set, but gave back that advantage on her next serve. She lost the seventh game of the set on a double fault and was broken again to close the match.