St. Petersburg: Elena Rybakina reaches third final of 2020; to play Bertens for title



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St. Petersburg: Elena Rybakina reaches third final of 2020; to play Bertens for title

Eighth seed Elena Rybakina and second seed Kiki Bertens will vie for the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy in the final on Sunday. In Saturday’s first semi-final, Rybakina defeated sixth-seeded Greek Maria Sakkari 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in an hour and 54 minutes to reach the final.

This is the 20-year-old Kazakh’s third WTA singles final this year. Earlier, she reached the finals in Shenzhen (lost to Ekaterina Alexandrova) and Hobart (defeated Shuai Zhang). The St. Petersburg final is also the biggest of Rybakina’s career as this is the first time, she has made it to the last round of a WTA Premier event.

Rybakina’s performance has also ensured she will break into the WTA top-20 for the first time in her career when the rankings are updated on Monday, 17th February, in the 19th place. But first, she has a stern test against the Netherlands’ Bertens.

Bertens, who was the defending finalist here this week in the Russian city, also needed three sets to subdue Alexandrova in their semi-final. Finally, after one hour and 41 minutes of play, Bertens won 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. The two have faced just the one time before – albeit on grass – at the 2019 WTA Libema Open in S’Hertogenbosch.

Although Bertens won that match in straight sets it promises to be a different encounter this time around, with Rybakina confidence peaking thanks to a 15-2 win-to-loss record so far, in 2020. Photo Credit: St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy Website