Defending Kremlin Cup champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova fought back from a set down to beat compatriot Daria Kasatkina on Friday to set up an all-Russian final with Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Pavlyuchenkova, who is seeking her season’s second and career ninth title won 2-6 6-2 6-4 in her first ever meeting with the 18-year-old qualifier in two hours.
Kasatkina, 102nd in the WTA rankings, dominated the play from the start, while Pavlyuchenkova, who won last week in Linz, Austria, looked visibly tired.
“There were difficulties with everything. Even to be on the court was hard,” Pavlyuchenkova said.
“My condition was really bad today. I didn’t have strength or energy or even really very much desire, to be honest.”
In the other semi-final, Russia’s two-time grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova saw off Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in straight sets 6-2 6-4.