Both semifinals at the St. Petersburg Open are supposed to be purely Russian affairs. While three of the four quarter-finals were Russian derbies, the only game with a non-Russian was played between the Romanian qualifier Jaqueline Cristian and the fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The former world No. 2 took two hours and 13 minutes to get through Clash to come, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3. At first it was Kuznetsova who built a 5-2 lead over Cristian in the tie-break, but who won five points in a row to advance in the game.
In the last two sets, however, Kuznetsova got her money’s worth and booked finally her place in the 74th semifinals of her career – and her first here in St. Petersburg. In the semifinals, Kuznetsova plays against Daria Kasatkina, the eighth seed.
Kasatkina also needed three sets to annoy Veronika Kudermetova with 1: 6, 6: 1, 6: 2 in one hour and 41 minutes. This will be the first game between the two Russians.
In contrast to the quarter-finals with Kuznetsova and Kasatkina, both Zvonareva and Gasparyan won their last eight straight sets. Former world No. 2 took an hour and 22 minutes to beat Anastasia Gasanova 6-3, 6-1.
Zvonareva talked about Gasanova who made it a tough game despite the good looking results: “I think the surface suits her really well. The ball doesn’t bounce very high, it stays low so finding the winners isn’t easy.
If you’re trying to do too much, you’re likely making an easy mistake. I tried to move them as far as possible on the court and then use every opportunity on the shorter balls. “Gasparyan meanwhile ousted the top seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in one hour and 20 minutes with 6: 2, 7: 5.
Vera Zvonareva and Gasparyan are playing against each other at the St. Petersburg Open for the second year in a row. In 2020, the duo competed in the first round of qualifying and Gasparyan won that game in straight sets.
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