Anett Kontaveit is through to the final of the St. Petersburg ladies' trophy after defeating Latvian player Jelena Ostapenko in two sets, 6:3, 6:4 Saturday.
For Kontaveit, the result was both an avenging of last June's Eastbourne final, when she lost to Ostapenko in straight sets in England, and, with 19 consecutive indoor competitive wins, a breaking of the longest indoor winning streak in women's tennis since Justine Henin reached 18 in-a-row in 2010.
Kontaveit was seeded second in the tournament, a third-tier WTA 500 event, and had beaten Belinda Bencic (Slovenia) in the quarter-finals to book her semi-final spot, after seeing off Jill Teichmann (Switzerland) and Sorana Cîrstea (Romania) in the opening two rounds.
Kontaaveit, ranked 9th worldwide, went 3:0 down early on, but then won six games on the trot without answer, to take the set 6:3.
Set two was slightly more equitable, but Kontaveit pulled ahead to win 6:4 and with it the match.
The Estonian's serve was particularly strong: Four aces and no double faults, compared with zero and two respectively for her opponent, and nearly 70 percent of first service points won, compared with less than half for Ostapenko, ranked 25th worldwide.
Ostapenko was actually stronger on her second serve than Kontaveit, winning 50 percent of those points compared with one-third for the Estonian, and rescuing five out of 11 break points compared with 1 out of four for Kontaveit.
Kontaveit faces Maria Sakkari, ranked seventh in the world and the number one seed for the competition, who overcame Irina Begu of Romania in three sets, in Sunday's final at the Sibur Arena.
The pair have faced off before a whopping 12 times, with the win-rate split down the middle at six apiece.
While Sakkari won more last year (three out of five), Kontaveit has the form, having won the last two encounters, including the Ostrava WTA final in the Czech Republic last September.
Editor: Andrew Whyte