MOSCOW, Russia -- Former World No.2 Vera Zvonareva picked up a banner win in her home country in the second round of the VTB Kremlin Cup on Wednesday, as she dispatched No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-2.

The 161st-ranked Russian, who qualified for this year’s event, claimed her first Top 10 win since she defeated then-World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in round-robin play at the 2011 WTA Finals. Zvonareva, the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open runner-up, took down World No.5 Pliskova after just 73 minutes of play, in their first meeting.

Former World No.1 Pliskova's loss allowed Elina Svitolina to clinch a place in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Pliskova also qualified for Singapore later on Wednesday after Kiki Bertens fell in her second-round match at the VTB Kremlin Cup.

34-year-old Zvonareva, whose comeback from motherhood has been simmering for a couple of years, out-winnered Pliskova by 24 to 15, and broke the huge-serving Pliskova five times during the swift tilt. Pliskova was undone by 26 unforced errors in the match.

In the quarterfinals, 2008 VTB Kremlin Cup runner-up Zvonareva will take on either No.5 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia or Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who play their second-round match later on Wednesday.

The first set was all Zvonareva, as Pliskova was unable to exhibit her best tennis during that stage. The Russian broke the big-serving Czech twice en route to a 4-0 lead, and although Zvonareva dropped serve in the next game after holding a point for 5-0, she never seemed in danger of losing the opening frame.

Zvonareva got right back on the horse in the following game, maneuvering to another break for a 5-1 advantage after Pliskova led 40-0 in the game. A long service return by the Czech in the following game gave Zvonareva a love hold to take the first set. Zvonareva had seven winners to Pliskova’s five in the first set, while the Czech had a whopping 19 unforced errors.

Zvonareva continued her roll in the second set, as she mixed up her depth of shot and perpetually looked to take balls out of the air in the forecourt to finish points. The wild card grasped an early break to lead 2-1, and then saved a break point with a big serve en route to a hold for 3-1.

It was not to be for Pliskova on the day, as she succumbed on serve once more at 4-2. In that game, Zvonareva plastered a forehand down the line on break point which Pliskova barely got her racket on, taking the double-break lead and putting her a single game away from a Top 5 win.

Serving at 5-2, the Russian needed four match points to seal victory as Pliskova went for broke in a last-ditch attempt to reclaim footing in the match, but a final wide service return ultimately provided Zvonareva with the upset win.

More to follow...