England's Natalie Pohrer scored a major upset by reaching the final of the World Open in Doha with a win over the new world No 1, Carol Owens.
Pohrer, raised in South Africa and a resident of the United States, saved two match points at 6-8 in the final game after a remarkable comeback from the prospect of a straight-sets defeat before winning 5-9, 2-9, 9-5, 9-1, 10-8. "I had to dig deep. I can hardly believe it," said the third-seeded Pohrer. "Carol was striking the ball so well in the first two games and I couldn't do anything about that. I couldn't be happier."
Pohrer, who hopes to become a US citizen within two years, will play her first major final against Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the defending champion from Australia who is attempting a record fifth World Open title.
Fitz-Gerald won 9-2, 1-9, 9-4, 9-3 against the English No 1 Linda Charman, recovering from a second game in which she was slow-balled and lobbed into error.
Owens has claimed the No 1 spot in the world rankings for the first time in her career. The New Zealander has replaced Fitz-Gerald at the top of the rankings. The pair, both originally from Melbourne, have been rivals since beginning their careers in the late eighties.
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