Tennis: Kuznetsova retains Moscow title to claim Singapore spot

Australia's Daria Gavrilova returns the ball to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova during the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament final match in Moscow on Oct 22, 2016.
Australia's Daria Gavrilova returns the ball to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova during the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament final match in Moscow on Oct 22, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova retained her Kremlin Cup title on Saturday (Oct 22) with a straight-sets win over Australian Daria Gavrilova in the final to claim the last spot in the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

Russia's two-time Grand Slam title winner, ranked ninth, won 6-2, 6-1 in 1hr 11min to record her third win over the 22-year-old Gavrilova in as many meetings.

With her Kremlin Cup win, Kuznetsova, 31, leapfrogged Johanna Konta of Britain to take the last spot in next week's WTA finals.

Moscow-born Gavrilova, who was playing in her first WTA tour final, started in a lively fashion, breaking early for a 2-0 lead, but Kuznetsova broke back on three occasions to take the opening set in 43 minutes.

In the second set, Kuznetsova underlined her supremacy on the hard court of Moscow's Olympic indoor stadium, claiming the set and the match after three more breaks of serve.