Mladenovic revival rolls on in Russia
Resurgent defending champion Kristina Mladenovic recovered from a set down to defeat home favourite Daria Kasatkina and reach the final of the St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy.
Mladenovic had endured a nightmare run of 15 successive losses, finally winning for the first time since July when she overcame Dominika Cibulkova in the second round of the WTA Premier event on indoor hard courts, before also accounting for Katerina Siniakova.
Kasatkina, meanwhile, had ousted Australian Open champion and new world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals and the Russian, aiming to register a crowd-pleasing triumph, took the lead in the second semi-final on Saturday.
But fourth seed Mladenovic responded to register a 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory after two hours and 17 minutes.
Awaiting Mladenovic in the final will be Petra Kvitova, who also needed three sets to get past Julia Goerges, the Czech breaking her opponent twice in the deciding set and securing a 7-5 4-6 6-2 win on her second match point.
Earlier, Sabine Lisicki's comeback from a knee injury ended in a straight-sets defeat to Kateryna Kozlova in the semi-finals of the Taiwan Open, the Ukranian winning 7-5 6-4.
Hungarian Timea Babos saw off China's Yafan Wang 6-3 6-4 to book a decider against Kozlova.