Sasnovich and Samsonova advance to WTA Cleveland final

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Seventh seed Aliaksandra Sasnovich and 45th-ranked Liudmila Samsonova advanced to the WTA Tennis in the Land final with victories on Friday in the US Open hardcourt tuneup.

Sasnovich outlasted French eighth seed Alize Cornet 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-3 after two hours and 51 minutes while Samsonova dispatched American Bernarda Pera 6-1, 6-2 after 52 minutes in semi-final matches.

World number 36 Sasnovich, a 28-year-old from Belarus, and Samsonova, a 23-year-old Russian, cannot represent their homelands due to tour rules imposed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sasnovich has lost all three of her WTA career finals, in 2015 at Seoul, 2018 at Brisbane and last January in an Australian Open tuneup event at Melbourne.

Samsonova won both her prior trips to WTA finals, taking last year's German Open title and the Washington Open crown three weeks ago.

The event is a final preparation event for the year's final Grand Slam tournament, which begins Monday in New York.

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