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Ekaterina Alexandrova wins as Russians lead the way in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2021 - Day 3

Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia during her WTA St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2021 tennis tournament second round match against Tereza Martincova of Czech Republic on March 17, 2021 at Sibur Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Margarita Gasparyan and Daria Kasatkina both won in the Round of 16 as a record seven Russian players made the quarterfinals of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

The eighth-seeded Kasatkina beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (2) and Gasparyan ousted Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 to give Russia a clean sweep of all four matches played.

Three other Russians advanced, giving the country seven players in the quarterfinals of a tournament for the first time. The WTA Tour said the last time seven players from one country reached the last eight of a tour-level event was in 1993, when seven Americans were in the Oakland quarterfinals.

The other two matches were all-Russian affairs.

Anastasia Gasanova rallied to beat fifth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4) despite being ranked 196 places lower at 241st. Second-seeded Veronika Kudermetova needed nearly three hours to overcome Kamilla Rakhimova 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Top-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova, Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced. The sole non-Russian player in the last eight is Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian.