Kuznetsova, Vekic to face off in Washington

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Donna Vekic made it through to the final of the Washington Open on Saturday with semi-final wins over Andrea Petkovic and Saisai Zheng respectively.

Kuznetsova passed her test first, the two-time slam winner rarely troubled by Petkovic as she eased to a 6-2, 6-2 win at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.

The 33-year-old Russian, who returned from a serious wrist injury several months ago, will be aiming for a first WTA title since 2016.

Petkovic was fast out of the blocks on Saturday, winning the first two games, but that was as good as it got for the German as her veteran opponent reeled off the next six games to claim the first set, before taking the second with the same scoreline.

Kuznetsova was ranked in the top 10 as recently as last year, but is now down at No. 128 thanks to her injury layoff, something that obviously rankles with her.

“It’s a little bit frustrating for me,” Kuznetsova said of her drop in the rankings. “On one hand, I had quite a bad start after injury and after my surgery. It took me time. First of all, I think I came [back] too early, and I was not prepared.”

She will play Croatia’s Vekic on Sunday after the seventh-seed beat Zheng 7-5, 6-3, to advance in the evening match.

After a well-matched first set that saw five breaks of serve, the Croat earned the decisive break in game 11 before sealing the set at the fourth attempt.

Vekic then pulled away in the second to seal a place in Sunday’s decider.

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