World No. 1 Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova will compete in an all-Russian final on Sunday at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart after surviving semifinal wins on Saturday.
Kuznetsova broke an eight-match losing streak against Top 10 opponents, beating fellow Russian Elena Dementieva 6-4, 6-2, while Safina survived an upset scare against Flavia Pennetta, coming from 3-6, 1-3 down to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-0.
“Things went my way today,” Kuznetsova said. “I enjoyed myself. I played well and enjoyed the match. The atmosphere was great and I was very happy on the court.”
Kuznetsova has lost 10 of her last 11 tour singles finals, last winning at New haven in 2007.
Safina was a game away from losing at 6-3, 5-4, before winning 10 straight games to close out Pennetta.
“I was a bit slow at the start,” Safina said. “And she was playing her best tennis.”
Safina used the WTA on-court coaching rule to confer with Zeljko Krajan, then turned the match around.
“He was very angry with me and I changed my game completely,” Safina said. “It was smart to call him.”
Safina leads the head-to-head with Kuznetsova 7-4, including the last four.
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