Pavlyuchenkova surges through in Moscow as Suarez Navarro suffers WTA Finals heartbreak

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Defending champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova booked her semi-final berth at the Kremlin Cup on Thursday as Carla Suarez Navarro saw her WTA Finals hopes disappear.

Pavlyuchenkova overcame Margarita Gasparyan 6-1 6-3 to progress to the last four, while Suarez Navarro was thrashed 6-1 6-2 by qualifier Daria Kasatkina.

Russian Pavlyuchenkova quickly found her rhythm against her 21-year-old opponent and, after both had held their opening service games, she won five in a row to wrap up the opening set.

She extended that streak to seven before Gasparyan got back on the board, but her break in the third game of the second set was as good as it got as Pavlyuchenkova cruised through.

It was a different story for Suarez Navarro, though, as she handed Lucie Safarova – beaten in the first round by Pavlyuchenkova – the final place in Singapore next month after being comprehensively beaten by teenager Kasatkina.

Suarez Navarro needed to reach the final to make the end-of-season tournament in the Far East, but her hopes quickly faded as Kasatkina took the opening five games.

The 18-year-old completed a huge win in her fledgling career with two more breaks in the second set, moving her into a last-four encounter with Pavlyuchenkova.

Elsewhere in the draw, Svetlana Kuznetsova set up a semi-final with Lesia Tsurenko as she came from behind to beat qualifier Anastasija Sevastova 5-7 6-1 6-3.