Donna Vekic continues her good form as she beat Vera Zvonareva in straight sets to enter the final of the St. Petersburg Open on Saturday. She will face second seeded Kiki Bertens in the title-decider.
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The Croatian Vekic was a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Zvonareva after having earlier sent the world number two Petra Kvitova packing in the last-eight stage of the tournament. This means she will now be playing in her first ever WTA Premier final.
Having won her first WTA title at the age of 17, it has taken Vekic five years to get to her first Premier final and it came via an easy win over her experienced opponent. Vekic needed just about an hour to quell the Zvonareva challenge to complete the victory.
She won two breaks of serves in the first set and could have finished it off at 6-1 when she got an opportunity to break her opponent for the third time in a row. Zvonareva survived that game but it was followed by an easy service game win that clinched her that set.
It was no different in the second set as Vekic won an early break in the third game of the set and then made it two in a row to go 4-1 up. She finished off the match off her second match-point.
And in the final she takes on the second seeded Bertens who thumped Aryna Sabalenka 7-6, 6-2 in the other semi-final. Dutchwoman Bertens needed little less than 100 minutes on the court to complete a win over another top 10 player and will want to use her power game in the final as well, having blasted nine aces and 29 winners in the semi-final.
Sabalenka took a 3-1 lead in the first set tie-breaker but Bertens reeled off five points in a row to earn herself three set-points. While Sabalenka saved two of them, Bertens won the set off the third.
Another Top 10 win for @kikibertens!
— WTA (@WTA) February 2, 2019
It became a lot easier for Bertens in the second set as she broke Sabalenka twice and went on to complete a facile win.