Western & Southern Open: Ashleigh Barty and Angelique Kerber to vie for final berth

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Western & Southern Open: Ashleigh Barty and Angelique Kerber to vie for final berth

Of the four quarter-final matches at the Western & Southern Open on Friday, two ended with players’ mid-match retirements. In her quarter-final against Karolina Pliskova, Spain’s Paula Badosa quickly built a 4-0 lead in the opening set before Pliskova found her range and began her comeback.

The Czech first removed the double-break deficit and levelled the scores before clinching a third break to take the set 7-5. However, in the second set, with Pliskova leading 2-0, Badosa was unable to continue any further with her right shoulder causing problems and had to call time on the match.

Pliskova will play Jil Teichmann in the semi-final. The Swiss won the derby against compatriot, 10th seed Belinda Bencic, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 11 minutes. The defeat also ended Bencic’s run of nine straight wins going back to the 2020 Tokyo Games in July, where she won the gold medal.

The fifth-seeded Pliskova, meanwhile, will attempt to reach her fourth final of this season. If she were to reach the final, it would also be her second consecutive final after the National Bank Open final last week, in Montreal.

Western & Southern Open: Petra Kvitova's Cincy road halts painfully

The Angelique Kerber-Petra Kvitova quarter-final was the other match that ended in the retirement of the latter. The German had won the first set 6-4 and the scores were tied at three-all in the second set before the Czech found it unable to carry on.

Post-match, Kvitova shared an update about her reason for stopping the match on Twitter. “I stayed out there as long as I could. I have been struggling with a stomach issue for several days and unfortunately couldn’t finish the match today.

Good luck Angie - sorry to end it that way - and can’t wait for the next battle with you,” she tweeted. Kerber will play world no. 1 and the tournament top seed, Ashleigh Barty for a place in the final of the Western & Southern Open.

The Australian won the Wimbledon rematch against Barbora Krejcikova 6-2, 6-4 in their quarter-final clash. Barty’s semi-final against Kerber will be a rematch of their Wimbledon semi-final.