The championship match between Anastasia Potapova and Margarita Gasparyan will be the first all-Russian WTA final since Elena Vesnina beat Svetlana Kuznetsova at Indian Wells 2017, the 29th all-Russian final overall and the second in Tashkent following Alla Kudryavtseva's defeat of Vesnina in 2010.
Potapova defeated Gasparyan 6-4, 7-6(5) in the pair's only previous meeting, in the first round of the ITF $100,000 event in Khimki this May - and would go on to reach the final, the biggest in her career at that point. Potapova and Gasparyan were also doubles partners this week, reaching the semifinals in their first event together before falling in a match tiebreak to No.1 seeds Irina-Camelia Begu and Raluca Olaru.
Both players are competing in their second career WTA final. Potapova was runner-up at the Moscow River Cup in July to Olga Danilovic; Gasparyan was the 2015 Baku champion, but this week marked her first semifinal since that tournament after three knee surgeries kept her out of action between Wimbledon 2016 and Moscow 2017.
This is the second final this year between players ranked outside the Top 100 - and the other also featured Potapova, who was ranked No.204 when she fell to No.187 Olga Danilovic in Moscow and who is now No.132.
World No.299 Gasparyan is the lowest-ranked WTA finalist this year (taking over from Jessica Pegula, World No.227 in Québec City), and the lowest-ranked since an unranked Justine Henin reached the 2010 Australian Open final. If Gasparyan takes the title, she would become the second lowest ranked WTA champion after Angelique Widjaja, who was World No.579 when she won Bali in 2001. Having begun the year unranked, the 24-year-old is guaranteed to return to the Top 200 for the first time since January 2017 next week.
Two weeks ago, Amanda Anisimova became the first 2001-born player to crack the Top 100. Next week, both Potapova and Danilovic (who lost to Potapova in the second round here) will follow her, increasing the number of teenagers in the Top 100 to five (along with Marketa Vondrousova and Sofia Kenin). Both Anisimova and Danilovic have a title to their name, but Potapova is the first of their generation to reach two finals.
Potapova won her first ever pro final, an ITF $25,000 event in Curitiba in March 2017 over Anisimova - but since then has lost four straight championship rounds: to Yuliya Hatouka in an ITF $15,000 event in Sharm el Sheikh in March, to Vera Lapko in Khimki in May, to Dayana Yastremska in the ITF $60,000 event in Rome in July and to Danilovic in Moscow.
ORDER OF PLAY
CENTER (starts 12 noon)
[Q] Anastasia POTAPOVA (RUS) vs Margarita GASPARYAN (RUS)
Irina-Camelia BEGU (ROU) / Raluca OLARU (ROU)  vs Olga DANILOVIC (SRB) / Tamara ZIDANSEK (SLO)