Hantuchova to face Kirilenko for Pattaya crown
Pattaya City, Thailand – Defending champion Daniela Hantuchova and Maria Kirilenko were semifinal winners Saturday and will meet for the title at the Pattaya Open.
The third-seeded Hantuchova eased past Taiwanese qualifier Su-Wei Hsieh, 6-4, 6-1, after the fourth-seeded Kirilenko gutted out a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea.
Hantuchova beat Tamarine Tanasugarn for last year's title and will play in her second final of 2012. She lost to Kaia Kanepi in the title match at the Australian Open tuneup in Brisbane to start the year.
The 20th-ranked Slovakian is just 4-9 all-time in WTA finals. She has yet to drop a set this week.
Kirilenko is 5-4 in title matches will play in a final for the first time since losing to Victoria Azarenka in Moscow in October 2010. The 26th-ranked Russian's last title came in September 2008, a victory over Samantha Stosur in Seoul.
Hantuchova is 4-2 lifetime against Kirilenko, but the two have never met in a final and haven't faced each other since 2008 in Zurich when Kirilenko earned a 7-5, 6-2 first-round triumph.
Sunday's winner will collect $37,000.