FILE PHOTO: Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2019. Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova in action during her second round match against Australia’s Samantha Stosur. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
(Reuters) – Russian fifth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova overcame sixth seed Garbine Muguruza in straight sets with a 6-4 6-3 victory on Friday to qualify for the Shenzhen Open final.
Alexandrova needed only 76 minutes to beat the Spaniard, a two-times Grand Slam winner, to reach her second WTA singles final and she will look to win her first trophy on the tour when she takes on Kazakh seventh seed Elena Rybakina.
“It was a tough match right from the start,” Alexandrova said. “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.”
Muguruza was unable to cope with Alexandrova’s powerful groundstrokes and the Russian earned double breaks in both sets to win, as much as Muguruza tried to delay the inevitable after losing five of the first six games in the second.
In the other semi-final, Rybakina beat the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova 6-2 7-5 to advance to her third WTA final in 72 minutes.
Rybakina, who knocked out third seed Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals, won 80% of her first serve points and converted three of six break points, without dropping serve herself.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore