Kuznetsova ends title drought in Moscow

Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova ended her 14-month title drought with a straight sets win over compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Kremlin Cup on Saturday.

At the joint WTA and ATP event in Moscow Kuznetsova, prevailed 6-2 6-1 in one hour 18 minutes for her fourth win in five meetings with last year’s champion.

“Deep down I always wanted to win this tournament,” Kuznetsova, whose last success was at the Washington Open in August 2014, said.

“And I’ve always been very excited playing here in Moscow.

“Finally, my dream’s come true. I’m really happy to win this particular title.”

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova dominated from the start, earning a one-set lead in 40 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova appeared tired after winning her eighth career title in Linz, Austria last week.

In the second set Pavlyuchenkova, who has played three three-setters on her way to the final, ran out of gas allowing Kuznetsova, who has dropped only one set in four previous matches here, to gain a commanding 5-0 lead minutes before she claimed the set and the match.

“Unfortunately I failed to recover to play on a normal level today,” Pavlyuchenkova said.

“But anyway I’m proud to play in my second consecutive Kremlin Cup final.”

Later, in the ATP semi-finals, top seed and defending champion Marin Cilic meets Evgeny Donskoy of Russia, while second seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut takes on Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, who was seeded fourth.

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