Ninth seed Anett Kontaveit squeezed past unseeded Ekaterina Alexandrova 4-6 6-4 7-5 to claim the VTB Kremlin Cup title, her third WTA trophy in two months.
The world No.21 Kontaveit was on the brink of defeat in Sunday’s thrilling Moscow final. In her only previous meeting with Alexandrova, in the first round of the 2020 Ostrava Open, Kontaveit saved two match points in the third set tiebreak. Today at the Kremlin Cup, Kontaveit recovered from a 6-4 4-0 deficit and prevailed in the tense conclusion of the deciding set.
At the start, the world No.37 Alexandrova converted her seventh break point to go ahead 3-2 and consolidated a break for a 4-2 lead. The Russian continued with strong service holds and cruised through the rest of the first set, 6-4.
The 26-year-old Alexandrova seemed to be storming through the match as she opened the second set with a 4-0 lead. Kontaveit wasn’t done! The Estonian fired back, winning seven consecutive games to force a decider and open it with a service hold.
The third set was a close battle until Alexandrova earned an opportunity to serve for the Moscow championship at 5-4. But Kontaveit fought back yet again! After choking at 4-4, Kontaveit battled back to stay alive and level the score at 5-5. This time we didn’t have a third-set tiebreak, as Kontaveit broke Alexandrova’s serve one last time to finish the match victoriously.
Kontaveit has now won 21 of her last 23 matches. In August she won the Tennis in the Land tournament, in September the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. En route to this week’s Moscow final she defeated Katerina Siniakova, Andrea Petkovic, Garbine Muguruza and Marketa Vondrousova. (photo: Jimmie48)