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Sakkari secures WTA Finals spot, Halep through in Moscow

The seeds had a comfortable day at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

Maria Sakkari Maria Sakkari (GRE) reacts after winning a point against Viktorija Golubic (SUI) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden (Panoramic)

Maria Sakkari became the first Greek woman to ever reach the WTA year-end finals as she secured a walkover win over Anna Kalinskaya to get to the Kremlin Cup quarter-finals.

The score was 6-2, 1-0 in the world No 7’s favour when the Russian retired from the match – and it was enough to get Sakkari her spot at the end-of-year showcase event.

“It was a very important match,” Sakkari said during her post-match press conference. “I knew that before I stepped on the court, because I knew that if I won that match, I would qualify [for the WTA Finals]. It’s achieving one of my biggest goals this year, it’s very satisfying.

“I’m very proud of myself and my team that we actually made it to the Finals for the first time, and for the first time in the history of Greece for a female tennis player.”

Former world No 1 Simona Halep also made it through to the final eight when she beat Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 7-6(4).

Ninth seed Anett Kontaveit is through too with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Andrea Petkovic, and so is Marketa Vondrousova, who beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-3.

Giorgi advances in Tenerife

At the Tenerife Ladies Open in Spain, fourth seed Camila Giorgi advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Danka Kovinic.

However, seventh seed Clara Tauson was knocked out after a three-set battle by Saisai Zhang 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 48 minutes.

Arantxa Rus, Maria Camila Osorio Serrano and Irina-Camelia Begu also won their second round matches on Thursday.

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