If Samantha Stosur produced a clean performance to down Svetlana Kuznetsova, Simona Halep produced a master-class to crush Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a spot in the final of Kremlin Cup. Halp raced to a 4-0 lead in both sets and while Pavlyuchenkova managed to get one break back in the first set after holding at 4-1, that was all she could do. The second set followed the pattern of the first set with the only difference that Pavlyuchenkova could not break Halep's serve. Halep won the match 62 61.
Samantha Stosur will be bidding to win her 6th career title and 3rd of the year, while Halep will be looking to win her 5th title of the season in as many finals this year. Halep will be going for her 5th career title as well.
Stosur leads the head to head 3-1, however, Halep has won their most recent encounter. The only time the pair met this year was in Cincinnati where Halep won in 3 sets 64 46 62.
Both Halep and Stosur have yet to drop a set. Another interesting fact is that whoever wins the title will be the first woman from her country to win the Kremlin Cup in the 20 years history of the tournament.
Halep will make her top 15 debut courtesy of her final run here and will set a new career high ranking.
Both players are looking in fine form and this could turn into a mental battle and we all know that that is one department where Stosur is not strong enough.
Both players have their plus, Stosur is on a 9 match winning streak and will be looking to win back to back titles at consecutive tournaments for the first time in her career. She leads Halep 3-1 in the pair's head to head. Halep on the other hand is 4-0 in the finals this year, and has won the pair's only meeting this year on hard courts. She has lost only 7 games on her way to the final.
Who will win the title, Stosur or Halep? The player who keeps her head clean will have an advantage.
Pick: Stosur in 3 sets. (Although my mind is telling me Halep may have something to say in straight sets ;) )