Jelena Ostapenko claimed her first WTA singles title for over two years as she saw off Julia Goerges in the final of the Luxembourg Open.

Ostapenko was playing in her second final in as many weeks after losing in the Linz showpiece to teenager Coco Gauff.

However, the former French Open champion went one better in Luxembourg, cruising to a 6-4 6-1 win over Goerges.

The championship marks Ostapenko's first since the Korea Open in September 2017, three months after her French Open final triumph over Simona Halep.

Ostapenko needed only one break to take the first set and it came in the ninth game when Goerges fired long, the Latvian then consolidating to wrap up the opener.

Goerges' resistance faded in much shorter order in the second as the German faltered on the forehand side, allowing Ostapenko to race to victory having lost her previous two finals of 2019.

Belinda Bencic booked her place in the WTA Finals by progressing to the showpiece of the Kremlin Cup, where she will meet home hope Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Bencic needed to beat Kristina Mladenovic to secure her spot in Shenzhen and made no mistake in the 6-3 6-4 defeat of the Frenchwoman.

This week's event in Moscow marked the final opportunity for the Swiss, who has enjoyed a resurgent 2019 having previously dropped out of the top 300 amid injury problems, to reach the season-ending tournament.

Bencic, whose run to the US Open semi-finals was highlighted by a victory over Naomi Osaka, said: "I think tomorrow [Sunday], I'll just be so happy to be in the final and will enjoy it already knowing I'll be in Shenzhen.

"This gives me a great feeling and hopefully I can take that into tomorrow and play even better.

"It means the world to me. Obviously, it was a big goal this season, particularly after I started it so strongly, and having put myself in a position to reach the WTA Finals I'm so happy now to have reached it.

"To do it at the last minute makes it even more emotional. There was lots of pressure today and I was really nervous so I'm just over the moon to somehow have made it to the Finals."

Pavlyuchenkova stands between Bencic and a second title of 2019 after defeating Karolina Muchova 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-1.

Jelena Ostapenko will take on Julia Goerges in the final of the Luxembourg Open, where Coco Gauff enjoyed doubles success alongside Caty McNally, a team dubbed 'McCoco' during the US Open.

Goerges won in straight sets against Elena Rybakina, while Ostapenko came from a set down to beat Anna Blinkova, who knocked out Gauff in the first round.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff was unable to follow up her first WTA singles crown in Linz with a run in Luxembourg, but she claimed her second doubles title alongside fellow American teenager McNally, the pair defeating Kaitlyn Christian and Alexa Guarachi 6-2 6-2.

Kiki Bertens look set to miss out on the WTA Finals following a Kremlin Cup quarter-final defeat to Kristina Mladenovic, which left the door open for Belinda Bencic to make her Shenzhen debut.

Bertens missed out on a place in the last four in Moscow when she was beaten 6-4 2-6 6-1 by the unseeded Mladenovic.

The second seed will require a withdrawal to feature in the season-ending tournament in China after failing to climb above the eighth-placed Serena Williams in the standings.

Mladenovic mixed up her game with skill and intelligence and faces a semi-final showdown with Bencic next.

Bencic will move ahead of both Bertens and Williams to grab a Shenzhen spot if she records one more win following a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 result against qualifier Kirsten Flipkens on Friday.

The Swiss third seed, who has never played in the WTA Finals, drew on her fighting spirit to come from 4-1 down in the opening set and edged a tie-break after saving two set points, then dominated the second set.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Muchova will contest the other semi-final after getting the better of Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova respectively.

Meanwhile, defending champion Julia Goerges rallied from a set down to beat Monica Puig 1-6 6-2 6-3 and reach the last four of the Luxembourg Open.

The German will take on Elena Rybakina, a 6-0 6-4 winner against Laura Siegemund, while Jelena Ostapenko and Anna Blinkova will also do battle for a place in the final.

 

 

Veronika Kudermetova upset top seed Elina Svitolina in the second round of the Kremlin Cup and Jelena Ostapenko fought back to knock Elise Mertens out of the Luxembourg Open on Thursday.

Kudermetova came out on top in her first match against a top-five opponent, defeating Svitolina 6-1 2-6 7-5 in Moscow.

The 22-year-old Russian wrapped up the opening set in only 28 minutes and came from 2-0 down in the decider to move into the quarter-finals.

Kudermetova's attacking approach paid off, world number four Svitolina showing resolve in the final set but missing out on a last-eight showdown with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Second seed Kiki Bertens advanced with 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Kaia Kanepi, while Pavlyuchenkova won an all-Russian contest with Varvara Gracheva 5-7 6-4 6-2.

Kristina Mladenovic will face Bertens after battling her way past sixth seed Anastasija Sevastova 7-5 3-6 6-3.

The top seed also bowed out Luxembourg, with Ostapenko digging deep to see off Mertens 4-6 6-2 6-2.

Ostapenko, runner-up to Coco Gauff at the Linz Open last weekend, will now come up against Antonia Lottner, who went through when Andrea Petkovic retired with a knee injury after losing the first set 6-1.

Defending champion Julie Goerges saw off Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-4 6-4, while Anna Blinkova and Monica Puig also made it through, defeating Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (8-6). 

Anna Blinkova overcame a fatigued Coco Gauff as the American teenager was unable to back up her Linz triumph at the Luxembourg Open.

Gauff claimed the first WTA title of her fledgling career in Austria last week but was clinically dispatched by Russian Blinkova 6-4 6-0 on Wednesday.

The beaten 15-year-old American complained of feeling tired as she was swept aside in the second set and found Blinkova in uncompromising mood.

World number 66 Blinkova made only five unforced errors and hit 18 winners in her first-round victory.

Defending champion Julia Goerges saw off 2015 winner Misaki Doi in a gruelling three-set battle, the second seed coming back to triumph 5-7 6-1 6-3 to reach round two.

Wednesday brought a more straightforward outing for third seed Elena Rybakina, who breezed past Denisa Allertova 6-2 6-1 to earn a quarter-final place.

Jelena Ostapenko beat Caty McNally in straight sets and will meet top seed Elise Mertens in the last-16, while there were second-round wins for Margarita Gasparyan and Laura Siegemund.

At the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Belinda Bencic pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Polona Hercog 1-6 6-3 6-4 and book a quarter-final place.

As well as being blown away in the opening set, number three seed Bencic found herself 3-0 down in the decider before shifting through the gears to win six of the last seven games.

Bencic will next tackle Kirsten Flipkens, who bested fifth seed Dayana Yastremska 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Ekaterina Alexandrova had too much for fellow Russian Anna Kalinskaya, thrashing her compatriot 6-1 6-1 before their home crowd. Karolina Muchova, who stormed past fourth seed Donna Vekic 6-4 6-2, will be Alexandrova's last-eight opponent.

Camila Giorgi bageled Andrea Petkovic in the first set of their first-round match at the Luxembourg Open, but the sixth seed was still eliminated.

Giorgi took just 24 minutes to wrap up the opener and yet Petkovic, a semi-finalist at the Linz Open last week, bounced back, coming from a break down late in the third set to advance.

Fiona Ferro won a solitary game as Monica Puig swatted the seventh seed aside 6-1 6-0, with Alison Van Uytvanck, ranked fourth in Luxembourg, also out having retired in her match against Monica Niculescu when leading 4-2 in the first set.

However, top seed Elise Mertens and third seed Elena Rybakina made it through in straight sets.

Defending champion Daria Kasatkina was knocked out of the Kremlin Cup by fifth seed Dayana Yastremska, the teenager building on a 5-0 lead in the opener to win 6-1 6-4.

Elsewhere, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who won the tournament in 2014, came from behind to oust seventh seed Maria Sakkari in a 5-7 6-1 6-3 triumph.

Two-time champion Svetlana Kuznetsova suffered an early exit at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Monday, losing to Karolina Muchova in straight sets.

Home favourite Kuznetsova – who won the WTA Tour tournament in 2015 before returning to successfully defend her title the following year – managed just 13 winners as Muchova triumphed 6-2 6-3 to set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Donna Vekic.

Anastasija Sevastova had no such problems in her opening encounter, easing past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 7-5, while Anna Kalinskaya overcame Anastasia Potapova 6-0 3-6 6-4 via a tense final set that saw the two players combine to produce seven breaks of serve.

Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens are the top seeds for the tournament, though neither are in action during Tuesday's play in Russia.

At the Luxembourg Open, Viktoria Kuzmova rallied from a set down to defeat teenager Katie Volynets 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

The sixth seed let slip a 5-2 lead in the second set before eventually prevailing in a tie-break, while she dropped just 10 points in the decider to triumph after two hours, 33 minutes on court.

Margarita Gasparyan, Tatjana Maria and Denisa Allertova also recorded three-set wins in the main draw, the latter coming through via a tense tie-break against Mandy Minella.

 

Teenager Coco Gauff has been promoted to the Luxembourg Open main draw after Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova pulled out with injuries.

Kerber is suffering with a leg injury while Sharapova has a shoulder problem, depriving next week's WTA event of two of its biggest names.

But the news means Gauff enters the competition proper, without needing to qualify, along with regular doubles partner Caty McNally.

Gauff, just 15, burst onto the scene at Wimbledon as she reached the fourth round, before impressing again at the US Open, her home grand slam, by winning two matches.

In her first appearance since Flushing Meadows, playing as a lucky loser, Gauff has reached the quarter-finals of Linz Open and will break into the world's top 100 next week.

She plays top seed Kiki Bertens on Friday for a place in the last four.

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