Published: Tue, October 23, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Kasatkina beats hobbling Jabeur in Kremlin Cup final crying game

Kasatkina beats hobbling Jabeur in Kremlin Cup final crying game

Kasatkina was heading for heartbreak when she trailed 4-1 in the second set after losing the first, but the sixth seed came roaring back to win a thriller 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in Moscow on Saturday.

Jabeur, the junior French Open champion in 2011, was the first Tunisian to reach a women's tour final and the first African finalist since South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers in 2014.

Since winning her first final in April 2017, Kasatkina has lost three in a row, including at last year's Kremlin Cup.

In the second set tiebreak Kasatkina, ranked 14th in the world, was slightly more accurate to level the match at one set all after one hour 25 minutes on court.

Jabeur joked she's looking for "revenge" against Kasatkina after the Russian knocked her out of the 2016 Olympics.

Jabeur wept as she was consoled by Kasatkina after ending the match clutching her thigh, the world number 101 having come so close to a maiden title.

"This is really unbelievable and I'm really happy".

As the set wore on she suffered cramp in her leg and was nearly unable to run allowing Kasatkina to produce the deciding break in the 10th game to wrap up the victory.

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"I really enjoyed playing here this week", the 101st-ranked Tunisian said.

"I gave it all today, and it wasn't easy because she plays really good", said 24-year-old Jabeur, who unleashed 45 winners on her way to victory.

Kasatkina said Jabeur's "mixed-up" style and love of drop shots, made her a tricky opponent.

In the men's draw, Adrian Mannarino of France will face Karen Khachanov in Sunday's final.

Facing Kasatkina in the semi-finals is set to be Britain's Johanna Konta, who beat Belarus's Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6.

Top-seeded German Julia Goerges beat Belinda Bencic 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday to win the WTA Luxembourg tournament.

Konta was aiming to make her second WTA final of a hard season but lost 6-4 6-3 in Friday's semi-final.

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