Kafelnikov faces Black in final

Byron Black of Zimbabwe moved into his second final this year after beating Jeff Tarango of the United States, and Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov advanced after outplaying France's Nicolas Escude on Saturday in the semi-finals of the $1 million Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Byron Black of Zimbabwe moved into his second final this year after beating Jeff Tarango of the United States, and Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov advanced after outplaying France's Nicolas Escude on Saturday in the semi-finals of the $1 million Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Top-seeded Kafelnikov defeated Escude 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 to reach his fourth consecutive Kremlin Cup final. Black defeated Tarango 6-3, 6-2.

"I was not very confident at the beginning of the match and gave my opponent a chance to believe in himself, and that made the match so tough," said Kafelnikov, who is the defending champion and world No 2.

Escude put pressure on Kafelnikov in the first set and was close to breaking him in the ninth game when the Russian saved a break point with a deep forehand. The hard-serving Escude won the set on a tiebreaker.

In the second set, supported by a sellout crowd of 15,000 at Moscow's Olympisky Stadium, Kafelnikov improved his serve to turn the match.

"I felt I had a chance, but everything changed in the the second set. Kafelnikov was playing better and better," Escude said.

In the other semi-final, Zimbabwe's Black broke the American in the sixth game en route to winning 6-3, 6-2.

"I knew before I even went into the match I could beat him if I just keep playing the way I'm playing," said the 30-year-old Black, who won his second career ATP Tour singles title earlier this year.

Tarango called for a doctor in the second set and said he wasn't 100 percent.

"I reacted badly and I moved slowly and my left hip bothered me," said the American, who staged two upsets in the tournament, eliminating his countryman and second-seeded Vincent Spadea in the first round and former two-time champion Marc Rosset of Switzerland, seeded seventh, in a tough three-setter Friday.

In doubles semi-final play on Saturday, Ukraine's Andrei Medvedev and Marat Safin of Russia beat Martin Damm of the Czech Republic and Belarusian Max Mirny, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable