Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-4 in yesterday’s Kremlin Cup final for her fifth career title.
After an exchange of breaks early in the match, Azarenka broke her Russian opponent twice to take the first set.
Azarenka had a disastrous start to the second set when the 24th-ranked Kirilenko, who reached the final of her hometown event at her sixth attempt, moved to a 4-0 lead.
The 10th-ranked Azarenka saved three break-points in the seventh game — and three more in the ninth game — to win six straight games.
She wrapped up the victory with a forehand net volley after Kirilenko saved two match-points.
“It was really tough to win the second set as Maria started pretty good, dominating the play completely,” Azarenka said.
“I tried hard to stay in the match, fighting for every point, and it paid off ... I’m really happy to win here on my third attempt,” she said.
By reaching the quarter-finals in Moscow, Azarenka secured a spot in the season-ending WTA Tour championships in Doha, Qatar, that start tomorrow.
Julia Goerges will play for her second title of the year after winning her first clash with Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in their all-German semi-final at the Luxembourg Open on Saturday.
Goerges won her first career title in July at Bad Gastein.
Goerges, at No. 8 the only seed to make the semi-finals, will meet Roberta Vinci of Italy in the final.
Vinci accounted for Anne Keothavong of Britain 6-4, 6-2 to book a spot in her second final this year.
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