Bencic into Moscow semis, on track for WTA Finals

Published by Reuters / Tennismash

Belinda Bencic (Getty Images)
Belinda Bencic is best placed to clinch the eighth spot in the WTA Finals field after Kiki Bertens’ loss in the Moscow quarterfinals.

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.

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.

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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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