Kristina Mladenovic beats Kuznetsova to set up final vs Simona Halep in Madrid
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Kristina Mladenovic beats Kuznetsova to set up final vs Simona Halep in Madrid

Kristina Mladenovic reached the Madrid Open WTA event final against Simona Halep after beating Svetland Kuznetsova 6-4, 7-6.

tennis Updated: May 13, 2017 10:23 IST
Kristina Mladenovic,Svetlana Muznetsova,Simona Halep
Kristina Mladenovic returns to Svetlana Kuznetsova during their semifinal match at the WTA Madrid Open on Friday.(AFP)

Kristina Mladenovic secured a Madrid Open final clash with Simona Halep following an impressive win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Frenchwoman will take on the reigning champion after overcoming world number nine Kuznetsova 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Friday.

Mladenovic, ranked 17, will seek to add to the maiden WTA Tour triumph she enjoyed in St Petersburg in February.

It did not start well for the 14th seed, who was broken in the first game, but she immediately hit back and broke again in game nine before serving out for the set.

There were no breaks in the second set, with Mladenovic holding her nerve in the tie-break and seizing on her second match-point opening.

In the men’s Madrid Masters, Rafael Nadal set up a semifinal with Novak Djokovic after withstanding a tough challenge from David Goffin 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Friday.

Djokovic, the defending champion, advanced when Kei Nishikori withdrew before their quarterfinal because of a wrist injury.

“It’s going to be a very tough match against one of the best players in tennis history,” Nadal said. “I’ve been playing at a high level during many weeks. I know tomorrow is going to be a day that either I play really well or I’m not going to have many chances.”

Nadal hasn’t beaten Djokovic since the 2014 French Open final, losing their last seven matchups.

“I’m not worried about it,” Nadal said. “There are matches that if you play your good tennis, you have chances. If he plays at a good level, he’s going to win. If we both play well ... it can go either way.”

First Published: May 13, 2017 10:23 IST