ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Kiki Bertens reached her first final since September with a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Aryna Sabalenka at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Saturday, and will face Donna Vekic in the final.
The eighth-ranked Bertens broke Sabalenka’s serve four times and fired in nine aces as she moved to a career 3-0 record over 10th-ranked Sabalenka.
Eighth-seeded Vekic needed just 1 hour, 11 minutes to beat Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-2 in the second semifinal, denying the Russian veteran a first WTA final appearance since 2011.
Zvonareva defeated the top-ranked Russian Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals but barely made a scratch on Vekic’s serve, earning one break point which was saved.
Bertens is 7-2 in career finals and will be aiming Sunday to win her fourth title in the space of 12 months after…