Kirilenko reaches Pattaya Open final

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PATTAYA, Thailand (AP)

Maria Kirilenko of Russia beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the final of the Pattaya Open on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Kirilenko will be bidding for her sixth career title and first since 2008.

Kirilenko broke Cirstea in the fifth game of the first set to take a 3-2 lead and cruised the rest of the way to take the set with an ace.

Cirstea fought back to take a 4-2 lead in the second only for Kirilenko to bounce back and take a 5-4 lead. Eventually the Romanian leveled the match when Kirilenko double faulted and drove a forehand long.

In the third, Kirilenko made the most of a break, holding on to win the deciding set and secure victory in 2 hours, 28 minutes.

''It was a high quality match. We both played well. I was luckier today,'' said Kirilenko. ''She played so well and fought for every point and hit hard. But I was aggressive and had good serves and backhand.''

Kirilenko will face third-seeded Daniela Hantuchova in the final after the Slovakian beat qualifier Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1.


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