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Rybakina, Kasatkina win three-setters to move into Abu Dhabi final


Rybakina, Kasatkina win three-setters to move into Abu Dhabi final

Al Rawaah, Feb 11 (IANS) No.1 seed Elena Rybakina and No.7 Daria Kasatkina each won three-set semifinals to line up a championship showdown at the WTA 500 Abu Dhabi Open.

2022 Wimbledon Champion Rybakina prevailed through three sets 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 against Liudmila Samsonova to book her spot in Sunday’s sold-out final, finally breaking her winless streak over her opponent.

With her victory, World No.5 Rybakina earned her first tour-level win over 15th-ranked Samsonova. Samsonova had won all four of their previous professional meetings.

Earlier, Kasatkina clinched her spot in the final after a three-set thriller against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Kasatkina’s 2-hour and 59-minute victory put Kasatkina into her second final of the season, having made her first in Adelaide last month. The victory is Kasatkina’s first over a Top 20 opponent since defeating No.18 Karolina Pliskova at Eastbourne last summer.

Rybakina and Kasatkina have split their four lifetime meetings. Rybakina prevailed in their most recent meeting, squeaking past Kasatkina 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(8) in last year’s Montreal quarterfinals.

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