Top seed Samantha Stosur reached her first final in eight months with a comeback 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over fourth-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic in the Kremlin Cup semi-finals on Saturday.
The Australian was to face another former world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, in yesterday’s final, after the Danish third-seed beat unseeded Swede Sofia Arvidsson 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in the first semi-final at the Olympic indoor arena.
Italian second seed Andreas Seppi, who is having his best season this year, was scheduled to meet fourth-seeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the men’s final yesterday.
After splitting the first two sets, last year’s US Open champion Stosur broke Ivanovic in the fifth game for a 3-2 lead after the Serbian missed an easy volley on break point.
Ivanovic took a medical break after falling behind, but looked a shadow of her former self after coming back on court as Stosur reeled off the next three games for an easy victory.
“Ana played a very good first set, forcing me on the defensive,” said Stosur, who lost to world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in her last final in Doha in February. “In the second set I think I started serving a lot better and I was more aggressive on the returns. That was the key.”
Ivanovic said once she felt a twinge in her side her level of play dropped.
“I felt something in my hip. I tried to shake it off but it got gradually worse,” she said.
On the men’s side, world No. 25 Seppi took just 79 minutes to dispose of Malek Jaziri, thrashing the first Tunisian player to reach the last four on the ATP Tour 6-3, 6-1, while Bellucci beat giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.
A tired-looking Karlovic, one of the tallest players on the tour at 2.08m and with a booming serve, doubled faulted to hand victory to the 41st-ranked Brazilian.
“For me it’s very special to be playing in this final,” said Bellucci, whose four previous finals had been played on clay.
“But it’ll be a completely different match tomorrow, with lots of long rallies,” the 24-year-old three-times tour winner added.