Saint Petersburg - Top seed Belinda Bencic
will face second seed Roberta Vinci in the WTA St Petersburg final after
beating Darya Kasatkina 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday's semi-final.
Vinci, the US Open runner-up last season,
overcame former French Open winner Ana Ivanovic, seeded fourth, 7-5, 6-4.
Swiss teenager Bencic, ranked 11th in the
world, won her first ever WTA meeting with Russian Kasatkina to ensure she will
finish the week inside the Top 10.
"It's a huge achievement for me to be
in Top 10," said Bencic, 18.
"It was always like a dream for me
from my early childhood. This is a very big day for me.
"Vinci is a very experienced player
and it will be very tough to oppose her tomorrow as she's currently on the peak
of her career, but now I'm in the top 10 and in the final so I will just enjoy
"Of course I want to win but I will be
relaxed in the final."
The teenagers both played nervously from
the start but Bencic produced fewer unforced errors and twice broke Kasatkina's
The local favourite appeared still jaded
from Friday's three-setter against Dominika Cibulkova, as well as her doubles
Bencic broke Kasatkina's serve again
halfway through the second set before serving out for the victory.
Serbian former world number one and 2008
Roland Garros champion Ivanovic started her semi-final aggressively, clinching
a 3-0 lead with an early break.
But Italian Vinci broke back twice to win
the opening stanza.
Vinci, ranked 16th in the world, broke in
the seventh game of the second set and that proved enough for a place in her
15th WTA final.
"I'm really happy to win today,"
"It was an incredible match, so tight
at the beginning. It's always tough to play Ana because she plays so quickly.
But after I was 3-0 down in the first set I forced myself to play more
aggressively and it paid off."