Anett Kontaveit came back twice from the edge of losing to beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 and win the Kremlin Cup on Sunday to stay in contention for a place at the WTA Finals.
Following her dropping a set for the first time in the tournament, Kontaveit turned the second set around from 4-0 down and mounted another comeback to win the decider with a break of serve when Alexandrova served for the match at 5-4 up.
“I’m still a little bit speechless,” Kontaveit said. “Congratulations to Ekaterina. You played such great tennis today.”
Playing in Moscow with a wild card, the Estonian player won her third title on tour in as many months after winning the Cleveland Ladies Open in August and the Ostrava Open last month.
On the women’s tour only top-ranked, Ash Barty has won more than three titles this season, with five. Barbora Krejcikova also has three titles.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to achieve more today and I’m really very sad but I’m going to work on this and hope something like that won’t happen again next time,” Alexandrova said.
Next week either Kontaveit or Ons Jabeur can secure the last spot at the WTA Finals.
Jabeur has a points lead, meaning Kontaveit would certainly have to win the Transylvania Open in Romania and hope Jabeur does not reach the semifinals in Courmayeur, Italy.
Aslan Karatsev won the men’s tournament without dropping a set to deny Marin Cilic a third title in Moscow.
Karatsev saved the last remaining break point he had faced on his way to a 6-2, 6-4 win over Cilic. He is also the third consecutive Russian winner of the tournament following Karen Khachanov in 2018 and Andrey Rublev in 2019. Previous year’s Kremlin Cup was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.