Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova surges into Shenzhen Open final (VIDEO)

Russian fifth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova powered into the final of the Shenzhen Open final as her preparations for the Australian Open continued with another strong display.

Alexandrova, who is seeded No. 30 for the upcoming Australian Open in Melbourne, defeated two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza in just 76 minutes to punch her ticket to the final in China, where she will take on Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

“It was a tough match right from the start,” said Alexandrova after her victory.

“I was calmer than yesterday and that helped a lot. I’m happy I did my best and I hope I can do it tomorrow.”

Alexandrova’s powerful baseline attack proved crucial as she overwhelmed Muguruza on the Spaniard’s serve, earning two breaks of serve in each set en route to a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

But the Russian will face a formidable challenge in the final against Rybakina, whose own semi-final performance was built on the back of an impenetrable serve.

Rybakina knocked out Czech Republic starlet Kristyna Pliskova 6-2, 7-5 in just 72 minutes to earn her spot in the final, winning 80% of her first-serve points and going unbroken through all of her service games throughout the match.

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