Third-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland dispatched Belgium qualifier Kirsten Flipkens 7-6(8) 6-1 in 94 minutes on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Bencic will next face France’s Kristina Mladenovic, who stunned second-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-4 2-6 6-1.
If Bencic beats Mladenovic, she will pass Serena Williams and Bertens to claim one of the eight spots at the upcoming Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen.
— WTA (@WTA) October 18, 2019
Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic and Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will meet in the other semifinal.
Muchova beat eighth-seeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-4 while Pavlyuchenkova outlasted countrywoman Veronika Kudermetova 7-6(5) 7-5.
In Luxembourg, second-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany fought past Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig for a 1-6 6-2 6-3 triumph to reach the semifinals.
Goerges, the defending champion, had 24 winners while rallying to the victory. She next faces third-seeded Russian Elena Rybakina, who soared to a 6-0 6-4 victory over Germany’s Laura Siegemund.
Eighth-seeded Russian Anna Blinkova and Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko will meet in the other semifinal.
Blinkova led 6-3, 1-0 when Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan retired due to an undisclosed injury, while Ostapenko cruised to a 6-1 6-1 win over Germany’s Antonia Lottner.
The resurgent Ostapenko is now into her second straight semifinal; she went on to advance to the final at last week’s WTA tournament in Linz.
“Marion [Bartoli] is helping me, so she’s giving me a lot of positive energy,” Ostapenko told wtatennis.com. “I’m just trying to work on some things, but I’m kind of more relaxed, not thinking too much, like before. And even if I lose, I just fight till the end, and I try to take all the positive things out [of it].
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