Top-seeded Svitolina loses opening match at Kremlin Cup

The Associated Press
Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, reacts after losing a point to Serena Williams, of the United States, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, reacts after losing a point to Serena Williams, of the United States, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

MOSCOW (AP) -- Top-seeded Elina Svitolina lost her opening match at the Kremlin Cup on Thursday after having been a break up in the deciding set.

Veronika Kudermetova beat the fourth-ranked Svitolina, who had a first-round bye, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 in their second-round match to set up a quarterfinal with either Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Also Thursday, second-seeded Kiki Bertens continued her push to reach the season-ending WTA Finals by beating Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

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Both Bertens and Belinda Bencic can take the last WTA Finals spot from Serena Williams if they reach the final in Moscow, where they are in the same half of the draw.

Next up for Bertens is Kristina Mladenovic, who won 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 over Anastasija Sevastova despite being ranked 21 places lower at 45th.

In the men's draw, third-seeded Marin Cilic beat Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 7-6 (5) in a second-round match between two veteran Croatians.

Sixth-seeded Andrei Rublev won a tight match 7-6 (3), 6-7 (6), 6-2 over qualifier Egor Gerasimov, while eighth-seeded Miomir Kecmanovic was eliminated 6-3, 6-4 by Jeremy Chardy.

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