Bertens downs Rybakina to retain St Petersburg title

Tanya Simon
February 18, 2020

The Dutchwoman was scheduled to take on 36-year-old former world number one Kim Clijsters in the opening round of the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships on Monday but pulled out of the tournament after reaching the final in St Petersburg.

Another Russian, qualifier Anastasia Potapova, is up next for Bertens. However, Alexandrova fought back to level the match, before Bertens regained ascendancy in the third set, and went on to clinch the victory.

Kvitova will next play Ekaterina Alexandrova, who upset seventh-seeded Donna Vekic 6-1, 7-5. And now she has the chance to consolidate that progress by defending the title she won 12 months ago. Kvitova said the unspecified illness had bothered her during Thursday's three-set win over Alison van Uytvanck.

The Netherlands' Bertens broke serve four times, never losing her own, saving all five break points that she faced in the second set.

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A break to cut the gap to 3-2 in the second proved a false dawn for Kudermetova, who failed to win another game after that as she was beaten in under an hour.

Also, sixth-seeded Maria Sakkari beat Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-4 and will next face top-seeded Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinals.

In the other quarterfinals, Greece's Maria Sakkari and Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina both advanced. Should Sakkari win the tournament in St. Petersburg, she would rise to number 18 in the next WTA rankings.

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