WTA Tour

Stosur, Halep in Kremlin final

Samantha Stosur (AP Photo)
Samantha Stosur (AP Photo)

Moscow - Australia's Samantha Stosur moved to within a match of winning her second successive WTA title on Saturday beating Russia's two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-4 in their semi-final.

The 29-year-old Australian, who won the Osaka title last Sunday, will meet fifth seed Simona Halep of Romania, who saw off Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-1 to record her third win over the 22-year-old Russian player in as many meetings.

Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion and 2010 French Open finalist, took 92 minutes to defeat 29-year-old Kuznetsova and move ahead in their head to head record 4-3.

Stosur, ranked 19th in the world, was clinical in the first set breaking her opponent four times to take it in 38 minutes as Kuznetsova was able to only break back twice.

In the second set the Stosur broke the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion twice again for a 5-1 lead.

Kuznetsova, though, showed character in breaking Stosur's serve twice to get back into the set, only to undo all her good work by being broken once again in the 10th game which handed the Australian the match.

"At the start we were both struggling to hold serve and she had love-40 again on me and my second service again and I was able to get out of that," Stosur said.

"And I think that gave me a little bit of a confidence boost and to win that first set 6-2 was good.

"It was still pretty tight all the way through with who was going to hold. We know each other's games pretty well. So I guess you've got to take your opportunities when you get them.

"It's always tough to play someone you know well," she added.

In the other semi-final 22-year-old Halep, who has made quite an impact this year winning four WTA titles, broke twice at the beginning of her match to take a commanding 4-0 lead and eased through the first set to take the opening set in 33 minutes.

The second set was almost a carbon copy of the first as Halep, currently 18th in the world, broke twice again for 4-0 before taking the set and the match in one hour 14 minutes.

In the ATP semi-finals later on Saturday defending champion and second seed Andreas Seppi of Italy will face Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, while top seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet will take on Croatia's big server Ivo Karlovic.

Results on day six of the ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup on Saturday (x denotes seeding):



Simona Halep (ROM x5) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-2, 6-1
Samantha Stosur (AUS x7) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x8) 6-2, 6-4

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