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Kuznetsova retains Kremlin Cup title for WTA Finals spot

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova holds her trophy as she won the first place at the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament against Australia’s Daria Gavrilova in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)


MOSCOW -- Svetlana Kuznetsova secured the last spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore after defeating Daria Gavrilova of Australia 6-2, 6-1 Saturday to retain her Kremlin Cup title.

The top-seeded Russian saved six of the seven break points she faced and converted six of her eight opportunities to beat the 38th-ranked Gavrilova in 72 minutes.

The 22-year-old Gavrilova, who knocked out 2014 champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals, was seeking her first WTA title. Kuznetsova had already won 16.

The 31-year-old Kuznetsova, who was a fixture at the season-ending finals for much of her early 20s, hadn’t qualified since 2009, but she returns to take her place in the eight-player draw at the expense of Johanna Konta.