‘Nervous’ Belinda Bencic secures spots in both Shenzen and Kremlin Cup final

WTA Tour
Belinda Bencic celebrates

Belinda Bencic ensured she was the eighth and last qualifier for the WTA Finals in Shenzen as she beat Kristina Mladenovic to move into the final of the Kremlin Cup.

The Swiss star produced a fine performance in Moscow, needing just 95 minutes to gain a 6-3, 6-4 success and book her place at the end-of-season showpiece.

The 22-year-old sealed the eighth and last WTA Finals singles place by reaching the final in Moscow and out-performing Kiki Bertens, who lost to Mladenovic in the quarter-finals.

“I’m so happy I reached the top eight. It was a huge goal for me this season and so last-minute,” Bencic said on court in her post-match interview.

“I was so nervous before the match, but also reaching the final here (in Moscow) is amazing. I’m so happy.”

Russian Pavlyuchenkova squandered a match point in a second set tie-break, but came through 6-4 6-7 (6) 6-1 against the Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova, who reached the last eight at Wimbledon last summer.

At the Luxembourg Open, German second seed Julia Georges overcame third seed Elena Rybakina, from Kazakhstan, 6-3 6-4 to set up a final showdown on Sunday against Jelena Ostapenko.

Latvian Ostapenko fought back to beat Russian sixth seed Anna Blinkova 3-6 6-3 6-2.

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