Local favorite Daria Kasatkina was prevented from appearing in the final of her home event after Kristina Mladenovic fought back from a set down to continue her defence of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.
No Russian woman has ever reached the final of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy and many believed that 20-year-old Kasatkina had every chance of changing that on Saturday, especially after she defeated world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals on Friday.
However, it wasn’t to be as France’s Mladenovic showed great courage to recover and triumph 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Downs Kasatkina, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2! pic.twitter.com/LnMd3Hpd50
— WTA (@WTA) February 3, 2018
As per usual, Kasatkina varied her game with artistic creativity and Mladenovic consequently struggled to find any rhythm in the face of some unusual slice and spin shots.
After the first set though, she got used to Kasatkina’s style of play and never looked back once she seized the momentum. Mladenovic’s forehand was the weapon that did the most damage.
Mladenovic will contest her first WTA final since May last year against Petra Kvitova, who beat Julia Görges in a three-set marathon earlier on Saturday.