With her Kremlin Cup win veteran Kuznetsova, 31, leapfrogged Johanna Konta of Great Britain to take the last spot in next week's WTA finals.Moscow-born Gavrilova, who was playing in her first WTA tour final, started in a lively fashion, breaking early for a 2-0 lead, but Kuznetsova broke back on three occasions to take the opening set in 43 minutes.Last year's French Open champion will now face either American Coco Vandeweghe or the tournament's surprise package Magdalena Rybarikova for a place in the final on Saturday. I was clear about what I had to do, we have played a lot together. I was just trying to go for it, play my game," Muguruza told the BBC. Even if tennis fans cheer the return of Maria Sharapova, her rivals are conflicted.The five-time Grand Slam champion is set to return to competition in April after serving a 15-month suspension for a drug violation.Kuznetsova won both the first three (all in 2007) and the most recent three, and leads 3-2 at Slams and 13-4 overall.
Another early break in the second piled the pressure on Kuznetsova, the 32-year-old Russian with two grand slam titles to her name who was appearing in the quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years, and she was rarely able to threaten.Vesnina capped a stellar campaign with a hard-fought 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4 triumph over Kuznetsova.Playing in her first final at the elite Premier Mandatory level, World No.15 Vesnina battled through a tense three hours and one minute to subdue eighth-ranked Kuznetsova. "And when I broke her at 4-All and went to serve for the match, I had this in my mind: I'm not going to give it.“If we talk about cheaters, people who cheat, then you say, ‘Why would cheaters get a wild card? “[But] if [it was because of] some mistake, then it’s a little bit different story.But it’s really hard to say.” Tennis wild cards are often given to lower-ranked players from the country where a bigger tournament is held.