Shenzhen: Ekaterina Alexandrova and Elena Rybakina set up final clash

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Shenzhen: Ekaterina Alexandrova and Elena Rybakina set up final clash

Fifth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia ousted Spain's Garbine Muguruza, seeded fourth, in the Shenzhen International semi-final on Friday. The world no. 34 won 6-4, 6-3 in 78 minutes to reach the final. After her win, Alexandrova told the media, "It was a tough match right from the start.

I was calmer than yesterday and that helped a lot. I’m happy I did my best and I hope I can do it tomorrow." This was her second career meeting against the former world no. 1. Back in 2017, en route to winning her second Major at Wimbledon, Muguruza had defeated Alexandrova in the opening round.

On Twitter, Muguruza shared her disappointment in being able to advance farther in the draw. "Not the result I wanted today but taking lots of positive things this week." She also confirmed in the same tweet that she would be playing Hobart the coming week.

Meanwhile, this is Alexandrova's second WTA final. She reached her first WTA final at the 2018 Linz Open. She lost that match to Italy's Camila Giorgi. Alexandrova will play seventh-seeded Kazakh Elena Rybakina in the final.

Rybakina took down Kristyna Pliskova in their semi-final 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 12 minutes. This is Rybakina's third career final – after Bucharest and Nanchang. She won her maiden WTA title in Bucharest but lost the final in the latter event. This will be the first time these two will be playing against each other.