Tennis  

Kuznetsova retains Moscow title to claim Singapore spot

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova serves the ball to Australia's Daria Gavrilova during the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament final match in Moscow on October 22, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV

Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova serves the ball to Australia’s Daria Gavrilova during the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament final match in Moscow on October 22, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV

Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova retained her Kremlin Cup title on Saturday with a straight-sets win over Australian Daria Gavrilova in the final to claim the last spot in the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

Russia’s two-time Grand Slam title winner, ranked ninth, won 6-2, 6-1 in one hour, 11 minutes to record her third win over the 22-year-old Gavrilova in as many meetings.

“I felt worn out ahead of the start and had no idea of how I would play today,” Kuznetsova admitted.

“Luckily, my desire to play prevailed and I managed to overcome the tiredness. I really wanted to show my best tennis here and I’m happy that everything worked well.”

With her Kremlin Cup win veteran Kuznetsova, 31, leapfrogged Johanna Konta of Great Britain to take the last spot in next week’s WTA finals.

Moscow-born Gavrilova, who was playing in her first WTA tour final, started in a lively fashion, breaking early for a 2-0 lead, but Kuznetsova broke back on three occasions to take the opening set in 43 minutes.

In the second Kuznetsova underlined her supremacy on the hard court of Moscow’s Olympic indoor stadium, claiming the set and the match after three more breaks of serve.

“I played twice a day since Tuesday and was almost exhausted by today,” said Gavrilova, who became an Australian citizen last year.

“I have always loved playing here. It’s been a very special tournament for me since my childhood, when I came here to watch the matches after tennis practice. And I’m really happy that I played my first career final in Moscow.”

In this article:
Svetlana Kuznetsova
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