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SPORTS

Greece’s Sakkari Retires from Kremlin Cup Semifinal

October 24, 2021

MOSCOW — Anett Kontaveit will face Ekaterina Alexandrova in the final of the Kremlin Cup after Maria Sakkari retired from her semifinal match with Alexandrova on Saturday.

Sakkari was trailing 4-1 in the first set when she retired. Tournament organizers said she cited dizziness.

Sakkari is ranked seventh in the world and secured a place at the season-ending WTA Finals earlier this week when she reached the quarterfinals in Moscow.

Alexandrova reached her first tour-level final since winning the Shenzhen Open in January 2020 and has a 1-1 career record in finals.

In Sunday’s final, Kontaveit will bid to win a third title in as many months after beating Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal match. The Estonian took a big lead early in both sets but took her time closing out the match on the fourth match point.

“I thought it was a very difficult match. I was trying my hardest and Marketa is such a nice girl and a tough opponent and a tricky opponent to play against,” Kontaveit said. “I’m so happy to be in the final.”

Kontaveit has a 3-6 record in finals, with one other title shared when the final of this year’s Grampians Trophy couldn’t be played because of schedule problems caused by pandemic restrictions. She won her only previous match against Alexandrova at last year’s Ostrava Open.

In the men’s Kremlin Cup competition, two-time winner Marin Cilic faces Ricardas Berankis in the first semifinal, before Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev play an all-Russian match.

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