Bencic nears WTA Finals spot as Bertens loses

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MOSCOW (AP) — Belinda Bencic is on the verge of claiming the last spot at the season-ending WTA Finals after winning her Kremlin Cup quarterfinal on Friday.

Bencic saved two set points in the opening-set tiebreak in beating Kirsten Flipkens 7-6 (8), 6-1.

The Swiss player's hope of reaching the tour finals had earlier been given a boost when fellow contender Kiki Bertens was beaten 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 by Kristina Mladenovic.

If Bencic beats Mladenovic in the semifinals on Saturday she will secure the eighth and final place ahead of Serena Williams at the Oct. 27-Nov. 3 tournament in Shenzhen, China.

Bertens now needs at least one player to withdraw to play in the tour finals.

In the men's Kremlin Cup draw, seventh-seeded Adrian Mannarino upset fourth-seeded Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (3), 6-1 in a quarterfinal.


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