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Tennis: Kuznetsova one win from WTA Finals

MOSCOW (AFP) – Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced into the final of the Kremlin Cup on Friday with a hard-fought win over fourth seed Ukrainian Elina Svitolina to give her hopes of making the WTA Finals a further boost.

Russia s two-time Grand Slam title winner, ranked ninth, won 6-1, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4 to level her record with Svitolina at 1-1.

“I started well but in the second set I lost my nerve,” said Kuznetsova. “I could do nothing about it.”

Kuznetsova added that she felt no pressure ahead of Saturday s final where she will meet Moscow-born Australian Daria Gavrilova.

“Regardless of the result, I consider this season to be a success. I m in the top 10 and even if I fail to make it into the WTA Finals it s not the end of the world.”

If defending Kremlin Cup champion Kuznetsova, 31, retains her title she will claim the eighth and final place at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore next week.

Should she lose, Johanna Konta of Great Britain will take the last spot.

Gavrilova saw off Germany s Julia Goerges 7-5, 6-1 to reach her first WTA final.

“In the final I know Sveta (Kuznetsova) will get a lot of support, but this is normal,” Gavrilova told the press.

“It has been a great week and I am playing with no pressure so I will go out on Saturday and play my game and see what happens.”

In the ATP section, second seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas crashed out to Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2, falling to the Italian for the second event in succession after a first-round defeat at Shanghai last week.

Fognini will next face Germany s Philipp Kohlschreiber, who ousted Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-2.

In the other semi-final, veteran Frenchman Stephane Robert, 36, who overcame local favourite Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 0-6, 6-4, will face sixth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta.

The Spaniard ousted Russian teenage qualifier Alexander Bublik 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/1).
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