WTA Tour

Bencic books last WTA Finals slot

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Belinda Bencic (AP)
Belinda Bencic (AP)

Moscow - World No 10 Belinda Bencic booked her place at the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kristina Mladenovic in the Kremlin Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Swiss needed to reach the final and outperform Kiki Bertens, who lost to Mladenovic in the quarter-finals, to secure her berth in the singles at Shenzhen.

She duly sealed the eighth and final place at the tournament boasting record $14 million prize money with a confident performance to see off the French player.

"It's a dream to be competing at the WTA Finals and to be one of the top eight," Bencic said.

"It makes it even more special that I booked my ticket at the last possible minute.

"This match had so much pressure and I was so nervous. Now I'm over the moon to win today and achieve this dream."

It is the first time that Bencic has reached the WTA Finals where she will line up against Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina.

"All the eight players deserve to be there because it shows we had the most consistent seasons," said Bencic who reached the semis of the US Open to climb back into the top 10 for the first time since 2015.

She also won the WTA event in Dubai and reached the final at the Mallorca Open.

Bencic will face either Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Karolina Muchova in Sunday's final in Moscow.

Results from the ATP/WTA tournament in Moscow on Saturday (x denotes seeding):

Men

Semi-finals

Andrey Rublev (RUS x6) bt Marin Cilic (CRO x3) 7-5, 6-4

Adrian Mannarino (FRA x7) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-3, 6-4

Women

Semi-finals

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Karolina Muchova (CZE) 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1

Belinda Bencic (SUI x3) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-3, 6-4

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