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Mladenovic upsets Kuznetsova

Kristina Mladenovic played a controlled game of tennis to defeat the two-timegrand slam champion and eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 7-6(4) to make the championship round of the Madrid Open where she will face the defending champion Simona Halep.

The final with Halep will be difficult and I need to prepare. But I'm in good form and confident

The win also saw her deny Kuznetsova her 41st career singles final Š—– it was also second meeting which also the French woman prevail against her at the US Open 2015.

"This is my first singles final here, I’m very happy," Mladenovic said. "This is a special victory. It was a difficult match against Svetlana, who is also a good friend.

"She plays with a great quality. The final with Halep will be difficult and I need to prepare. But I’m in good form and confident."

Simona Halep had earlier defeated Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-2 to become the first woman in Madrid Open history to appear in three finals.

The Romanian had to overcome fits of frustration Š—– slamming balls and swiping the clay Š—– but persevered and after 73-minutes, reached the final with what looked like a comfortable scoreline, breaking her opponent five times.

It was her 21st clay win from the past 24 matches on the surface.






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