Schiavone, Govortsova Into Final

Francesca Schiavone and Olga Govortsova will break a head-to-head tie in Sunday's final.

Published October 24, 2009 12:00


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MOSCOW, Russia - Francesca Schiavone and Olga Govortsova cruised past their semifinal opponents in Moscow on Saturday and will clash for the third time this year, but this time in by far their biggest encounter yet.

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Schiavone, at No.8 the only seed to make it to the final four, downed Alona Bondarenko, 64 60. Schiavone raced out to a 5-2 first set lead and, after allowing Bondarenko two more games, went on another tear of seven straight.

"My tennis wasn't perfect today but it was very good," Schiavone said. "I ran a lot and covered a lot of court. I was aggressive at the right times and took my chances. My gameplan was to mix it up: use my slice backhand, play some high balls with my forehand, go crosscourt. It was also important to serve well."

Govortsova won an all-unseeded match-up with Alisa Kleybanova. Although the scoreline was 62 61, the match took almost 90 minutes, thanks to several of the games - including the last two of the match - going to several deuces.

"I won my first match in three sets and wasn't playing my best tennis. In the second round I beat a really good player, María José Martínez Sánchez, and since then I've been playing great," Govortsova commented afterwards. "I'm starting to play really well just as the season is ending!"

Schiavone and Govortsova have met twice before, and both came earlier this year. Govortsova won on the hardcourts of Brisbane in January, 75 62, while Schiavone retaliated with a 61 63 win on the grass of 's-Hertogenbosch in June.

Neither player has been great in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour finals, however. Schiavone is 1-10 lifetime, winning her lone title on clay at Bad Gastein two years ago, but being runner-up 10 times, including twice this year. Govortsova lost her only previous final, at Memphis last year (to Lindsay Davenport).

Russians Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova won the doubles title later in the day, beating Russian-Czech duo Maria Kondratieva and Klara Zakopalova in 56 minutes, 62 62. Kirilenko and Petrova, who were the No.3 seeds here, won their second title together, having captured Cincinnati last year; Petrova took home her 18th Tour doubles title while Kirilenko nabbed her sixth.

"Winning the doubles title here in Moscow is a nice way to end the season," Petrova said. "This is the second tournament I have played with Maria, and we had a lot of fun this week. Hopefully we can play together again soon."

"It's always nice to win here in Moscow, playing so close to home with the support of all the fans. It's good to end the season on a good note," Kirilenko said. "Maybe Nadia and I can team up again and try to win another title."

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