Gasparyan pulls off upset against Alexandrova


ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) – Margarita Gasparyan upset the top-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 7-5 on Friday, when Russian players filled the semifinals of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

The 126th-ranked Gasparyan saved three of the six break points she faced and broke Alexandrova six times for a last-four clash with Vera Zvonareva.

Zvonareva dispatched qualifier Anastasia Gasanova 6-3, 6-1.

The fourth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova rallied to beat the only non-Russian in the quarterfinals, Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3, and will next face Daria Kasatkina.

Kasatkina also had to fight hard, coming back to beat Veronika Kudermetova 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the last quarterfinal.

It was the first time Russia had seven players in the quarterfinals of a tournament. The WTA Tour said the last time seven players from one country reached the last eight of a tour-level event was in 1993, when seven Americans were in the Oakland quarterfinals.

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