Ekaterina Alexandrova and Anett Kontaveit will clash against each other for Kremlin Cup glory on Sunday. Earlier, on Saturday, both made it through to the final in a completely contrasting manner.
In the first semi-final, Kontaveit defeated Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 14 minutes. The ninth seed from Estonia won 69% of her first-serve points to the Czech’s 55% and a relatively higher 41% of second-serve points to the latter’s 37%. Kontaveit also had 26 winners to Vondrousova’s 13 and 22 unforced errors to the latter’s 27.
This is Kontaveit’s fifth final of this year. She and Ann Li shared the Grampians Trophy at the start of the year in Melbourne after the final had been called off because of unavailability of time. Later, in the grass season, the world no. 20 reached the final of the Viking International in Eastbourne but lost to Jelena Ostapenko. Later, Kontaveit reached the finals in Cleveland – prior to the US Open – and Ostrava, and won the titles, beating Irina-Camelia Begu and Maria Sakkari respectively.
Kremlin Cup: Anett Kontaveit and Ekaterina Alexandrova rekindle nascent rivalry
Going back to the Ostrava Open, Kontaveit has now won nine matches on the trot indoors. Overall, the 25-year-old has just lost two of the 22 matches she’s last played. These losses came at the hands of Iga Swiatek in the third round of the US Open and against Ons Jabeur at Indian Wells, prior to Moscow.
Meanwhile, in the second semi-final in the Russian capital, Alexandrova advanced to the final after her opponent, the third-seeded Sakkari retired mid-match. Alexandrova had built a 4-1 lead in the opening set when the Greek was forced to stop proceedings because of dizziness.
The Kremlin Cup final’s the first WTA 500 final that Ekaterina Alexandrova’s contesting, and the third final of her career in totality. She’s looking to win the second title of her career, with her first coming at the Shenzhen Open in 2020. Heading into the final, Anett Kontaveit leads the head-to-head against the Russian, 1-0 with the win coming in at the 2020 edition of the Ostrava Open.