Russian Youzhny to face Tipsarevic in men’s final

MOSCOW: Italy’s Francesca Schia­vone, the last seeded woman standing, cruised comfortably into the Kremlin Cup final with a straight-sets win over Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko here yesterday.

In today’s final, the eighth seed will face Olga Govortsova of Belarus, who swept aside Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 6-2, 6-1.

The 29-year-old Schiavone, the 2005 runner-up, won 6-4, 6-0 in 71 minutes to record her fourth win over Bondarenko in their sixth meeting.

“I’m happy with my play,” Schiavone said. “I was serving good, returning well. I moved quickly, played aggressively and dominated.”

Bondarenko, the world 36, started brightly with an immediate break but Schiavone took four consecutive games for a 4-1 lead.

The 25-year-old Ukrainian re­­duced the arrears with a break in the ninth game but Schiavone made the decisive break in the 10th to gain a one-set advantage in 46 minutes.

In the second, Schiavone underlined her supremacy at Moscow’s Olympic indoor stadium, producing three more breaks to win the second set to love and the match.

Meanwhile, Govortsova levelled her head-to-head record with Kleybanova at two wins all.

Govortsova broke Kleybanova’s serve on three occasions to put herself one set up in 40 minutes.

In the second set, the 21-year-old broke three times to win the set and the match in 86 minutes.

In the men’s section of the US$2mil joint ATP and WTA event, third seed Mikhail Youzhny cruised comfortably into the final past qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-1.

In today’s final, Youzhny will face Serbian sixth seed Janko Tipsarevic, who outclassed Ilya Marchenko of Ukraine 6-1, 6-4.

The 25-year-old Tipsarevic was in complete command against Marchenko, the world 190, breaking twice in the opening set for a 5-0 lead before Marchenko chalked up his first point.

After taking the first set in 34 minutes Tipsarevic, 46th in the rankings, eased up in the second but still broke Marchenko in the seventh game to win the set, the match and a place in the final.

“The key was that I really started dominating from the first set,” said Tipsarevic, who is still seeking his first career title. — AFP

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