Cibulkova & Kanepi: Turning The Tables
Published October 22, 2011 12:00
MOSCOW, Russia - Dominika Cibulkova and Kaia Kanepi overcame some of their personal nemeses on Saturday afternoon and will now play for the Kremlin Cup title - for Cibulkova it would be the first WTA title of her career.
The No.8-seeded Cibulkova was the first to advance to the final, following up her two-hour, 49-minute victory over No.1 seed Vera Zvonareva from a day before with a 65-minute, 60 62 demolition of an unseeded Elena Vesnina.
"I started very well. I was playing too fast for her, and that's why she was making the mistakes," Cibulkova said. "But it's never easy to win a set so quickly. In the beginning of the second set I was a bit sleepy - I had to pump myself up and get myself back into the match and start all over again."
Vesnina had beaten Cibulkova the last three times they had played.
"I was trying to do everything I could and I really did fight until the end today," Vesnina said. "I knew I could change the momentum. Twice before when we played she was up 3-0 in the third set and I won, so I knew anything can happen. But I wasn't playing my best and I just couldn't do it today."
Cibulkova is 0-3 in her career in WTA finals, including a runner-up finish in Linz six days ago - now she can end that, and at the Premier level too.
"I'm really happy to be in another final, my second final in two weeks," the Slovak said. "I know I don't have any WTA titles but I'm sure sooner or later it'll come. I don't want to make a big deal out of it. I just want to go out there and play my best tennis and if it comes I'll be really happy. We will see."
Kanepi, who does have one WTA title to her name but at the International level, snapped a four-match losing streak against Lucie Safarova in the next semifinal, battling two hours and 29 minutes to prevail, 67(4) 64 63. The serving was powerful - both women hit 10 aces during the hard-hitting match.
"We had long rallies and long points. Lucie's a very tough opponent," Kanepi said. "It was a tough match and I hope to be ready for my next match too. Dominika hits hard and fast so I have to make sure to stay in the rallies."
Kanepi has beaten Cibulkova in both of their previous meetings, though both meetings were in three sets (and one went to a third set tie-break).
In the doubles final, No.2 seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova beat No.4 seeds Anastasia Rodionova and Galina Voskoboeva, 76(3) 63, staving off two set points at 5-6 in the first set and rallying from 1-3 in the second set to capture their second WTA doubles title of the year together (also winning in Cincinnati) and fourth overall (they won Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010).
"I guess Slava and I bloom late in the season," King said. "It was a high level from all four players. We stepped it up on the big points. They played well - maybe their level dropped in the second set, but overall I think we all played a really good match. I guess we were just a bit luckier on the big points.
"We didn't know our schedule for the last few weeks, but I'm really glad we came to Moscow. We had a great week for practice and for matches, and it was a great experience to play here to get ready for Istanbul."