Margarita Gasparyan and Daria Kasatkina prevailed in the first ever all-Russian semifinal line-up at a WTA tournament to reach the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy final.
Wildcard Margarita Gasparyan saved four set points in the second set to beat Vera Zvonareva 6-3 7-6(9) and reach the biggest WTA final of her career. The former world No.2 Zvonareva, looking for her first WTA final since 2011, was dangerous until the very last shot and had many chances to force the third set.
The 26-year-old Gasparyan was very emotional after the triumph, covering face with hands. She’s now recorded her 50th career main-draw victory and is looking to become the first wildcard to win title in the history of this tournament.
Daria Kasatkina has reached her second WTA final this season with a come-from-behind victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova 1-6 6-0 6-2. After dropping the first set, the eighth-seeded Kasatkina stormed through eight games in a row, and eventually won 12 of the last 14 to control the second half of the match against the fourth seed.
Eight of Kasatkina’s fourteen wins this season have come over higher ranked players, including four during title run at the Phillip Island Trophy. Today’s win was the world No.61’s 100th career hard court victory.
The title match will be the first career meeting between Gasparyan and Kasatkina. The St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy will have its first Russian champion in tournament history. Gasparyan is currently 2-0 in WTA finals, while Kasatkina is bidding to clinch multiple titles in one season for the first time in her career.