Second-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko downed France's Stephanie Cohen-Aloro Saturday to advance to the final of the $145,000 clay-court Barcelona KIA tennis event.
The 21-year-old Kirilenko, the only seed still standing here in the semifinals, moved on with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Cohen-Aloro, who was appearing in only her second career WTA Tour semifinal and her first in four years.
Kirilenko is bidding for her second title of the year after her win at Estoril in April. She will face Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the final.
Martinez Sanchez is trying for her first WTA Tour title. She struggled at the start of her match against Llagostera Vives and dropped a set for the first time in the tournament. She won the second after the players traded five breaks in the opening six games. Llagostera, who had beaten top-seeded Shahar Peer in the opening round, made several unforced errors in the decider to drop her serve in the first and fifth games.
(source IHT, photo/Barcelona KIA '08)