Kanepi downs Saville in Washington semis

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Australia's Daria Saville has fallen short in her bid for a second career WTA Tour title, beaten by Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi in the semi-finals of the Citi Open in Washington.

Instead 37-year-old Kanepi will seek her first title in nine years in Sunday's final against world No.60 Liudmila Samsonova after overwhelming Saville 6-3 6-1.

Kanepi won the last of her four WTA titles in 2013 in Brussels. But she has enjoyed a resurgence this year, reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, and credits smart scheduling for her continued good form.

"It was amazing, actually, for me. I never thought I would make quarters in Australia. I thought it's not just my place," said Kanepi, who previously reached the quarter-finals in the other three Grand Slam tournaments.

"But I played really well, and then I continued playing well. I actually didn't put any pressure on myself to achieve something special."

Kanepi's match record this year is 19-10, her most victories since 2013, and she is ranked No. 37. She plans to play two more hard-court tournaments before the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 29.

Earlier Samsonova breezed past Xiyun Wang 6-1 6-1 in their semi.

The 23-year-old Samsonova is seeking her second WTA singles title. She won a hard-court event at New Haven, Connecticut, in 2017.

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