Caroline Wozniacki, Samantha Stosur to clash in Kremlin Cup final
Caroline Wozniacki and Sam Stosur earned three-set victories on Saturday to reach the Kremlin Cup final.
Wozniacki advanced to her third final of the season by beating Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4, while Stosur rallied to beat former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
In the men's semifinals, second- seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy advanced to his fourth final this year by beating Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-3, 6-1, while fourth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil overcame veteran Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 for his first indoor final.
Stosur has a 3-2 record against Wozniacki, winning their last two matches.
In a match of 18 breaks of serve, the third-seeded Wozniacki won five consecutive games to take the first set. The 11th-ranked Dane was serving for the match at 6-5 in the second but was broken. Wozniacki was broken again while serving for the match at 5-3 in the third and finally clinched the semifinal when Arvidsson netted a backhand in the 10th game.
"I was really fighting out there," Wozniacki said. "It's tough on this surface to finish off the point. This surface suits her game much more than mine and she could get lots of balls. Besides, she was playing really good this week. I'm just happy to make it to the final."
Ivanovic won four consecutive games in the first set but Stosur broke in the eighth game of the second to stay in the match. She made the decisive break in the seventh game of the decider and sealed the victory on her first match point with a backhand down the line.
"In the first set Ana was playing quite well making good first shots in the rally which forced me to play in defence," Stosur said. "But in the second set I started serving a lot better and played much more accurate on return. I improved my movement and started playing more offensively."
Ivanovic took a medical timeout at 3-2 down in the third to have her right hip treated and bandaged. She said she first felt pain in her hip at 2-1 in the second set and "it got gradually worse and it's still sore walking."
"It's really disappointing but it was quite a good match," Ivanovic said "I was still trying to come in. I thought I still had chances in the second set. But she played well and it was a high-quality match."
The hard-serving Karlovic, who landed 19 aces for a total of 78 this week, won the first set against Bellucci on a tiebreaker, but the Brazilian broke him in the last games in each of the next two sets to advance to his second final this year.
"It's always tough to break him," said Bellucci, who won his third career title in Gstaad in July. "I had chances in the first set but failed so I kept my focus on the second set and I could break him. It was good I didn't play a tiebreak in the second set."
Seppi won his second career title in Belgrade in May.