KOUKALOVA meets Rittner in Benelux Open final

Friday, May 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) _ Czech Klara Koukalova battled her way into her first WTA tour final Friday, beating Spain's Eva Bes in three sets to earn a match against German veteran Barbara Rittner for the dlrs 140,000 Benelux Open title.

Rittner, seeded fifth, swept past Ana Isabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-0, 6-2 in the other semifinal Friday.

Koukalova, ranked 186th in the world, came back from behind to beat Bes 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. It was her second three-setter in as many days after she beat Laurence Courtois of Belgium in the quarterfinals.

Rittner, 28 and ranked 74th in the world, will be going for her second career WTA title Saturday, nine years after she won in Schenectady.