Kontaveit surges into Moscow final over Vondrousova, to meet Alexandrova after Sakkari retires
No.9 seed Anett Kontaveit continued her sizzling streak within the semifinals of the VTB Kremlin Cup, defeating Marketa Vondrousova for the primary time 6-3, 6-4 to achieve her fifth ultimate of 2021.
She’s going to face Ekaterina Alexandrova, who progressed after No.3 seed Maria Sakkari retired trailing 4-1 within the first set. The outcome ensured a house presence within the Moscow title match for the seventh consecutive version of the match.
Three of Kontaveit’s finals have come throughout the final two months. She claimed her second and third profession titles in Cleveland and Ostrava, has now gained 20 of her final 22 matches and is on a nine-match indoor profitable streak. Since August, the Estonian’s solely losses have been to Iga Swiatek within the third spherical of the US Open and Ons Jabeur within the Indian Wells quarterfinals.
Vondrousova has traditionally been a troublesome opponent for Kontaveit. The Czech triumphed 6-4, 7-6(6) within the 2017 Biel ultimate to win her first – and up to now solely – profession title, in simply her second WTA major draw. She backed that up with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory within the first spherical of Wimbledon this 12 months. However right here, Kontaveit delivered a near-flawless masterclass of assured energy tennis to take the match out of Vondrousova’s fingers.
Stat nook: Kontaveit’s willpower to regulate each level was mirrored within the numbers – the 25-year-old slammed 26 winners, outweighing her 22 unforced errors, together with her backhand proving significantly formidable. She additionally impressed together with her shot choice for probably the most half. Kontaveit was able to pulling off a number of spectacular low-percentage winners, however was additionally content material to hit into huge targets to put on Vondrousova down together with her sheer weight of shot.
Vondrousova, stored on the again foot, was unable to get right into a place to execute her favoured patterns of play with any consistency. The World No.35 may solely try a handful of her trademark dropshots, and completed with 13 winners and 27 unforced errors.
Match administration: Kontaveit’s near-perfect efficiency contained simply three blips. She opened the match with a flurry of unforced errors to drop serve, and he or she additionally didn’t serve out every set on the first alternative after her accuracy fully departed her.
Nonetheless, Kontaveit didn’t allow any of those poor video games to develop into turning factors. At first of the match, she instantly broke Vondrousova again, the beginning of a purple patch that might take her to a 5-1 lead. At 5-3, Vondrousova held two break factors to get again on serve, however Kontaveit got here up with a fragile dropshot and a bludgeoning forehand to save lots of each and finally shut out the set.
Within the second set, Vondrousova saved two match factors to slender her deficit from 2-5 to 4-5, however once more Kontaveit held agency to serve out the win on the second time of asking.
Alexandrova continues Russian streak at house
The second semifinal noticed Alexandrova leap out to a fast lead with some scintillating serving and returning, in addition to a sizzling shot counterdrop, earlier than it was sadly abbreviated.
The outcome places the 26-year-old into her third profession WTA ultimate, and first at WTA 500 stage. She shall be bidding for her second title following Shenzhen 2020.
Alexandrova turns into the eleventh Russian participant to achieve the Moscow ultimate. Because the match’s first version in 1996, 15 out of its 25 finals have featured at the very least one house participant.
Russian representatives within the Kremlin Cup ultimate
Anna Kournikova (F 2000)
Elena Dementieva (F 2001, F 2004, W 2007)
Anastasia Myskina (W 2003, W 2004)
Anna Chakvetadze (W 2006)
Nadia Petrova (F 2006)
Vera Zvonareva (F 2008)
Maria Kirilenko (F 2010)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (W 2014, F 2015, F 2019)
Svetlana Kuznetsova (W 2015, W 2016)
Daria Kasatkina (F 2017, W 2018)
Ekaterina Alexandrova (? 2021)