Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Kalinskaya reaches Berlin final as injury list grows

BERLIN (AFP) – Anna Kalinskaya beat Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-1 in a see-saw semi-final on Saturday in the Berlin WTA tournament.
Kalinskaya raced through the first set in 26 minutes. After Azarenka went 4-1 up in the second set, Kalinskaya fought back to force a tiebreak which she lost. Kalinskaya again galloped through the third set, and was only slowed at 5-1 when Azarenka saved three match points from 40-0, but two unreturned serves sealed the victory.
The second semi-final was suspended with Jessica Pegula leading top seed and doubles partner Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-6.
The day had started with three quarter-finals delayed by rain from the day before, two were cut short as Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur joined the procession of injured stars limping off the grass in the Wimbledon warm-up event. Kalinskaya was one of the beneficiaries as second-seeded Belarusian Sabalenka retired trailing 5-1 in the first set.
Eighth-seeded Jabeur had gone toe-to-toe with Gauff before losing a one-hour 14-minute first set in a tiebreak 11/9 before packing her racquets in her bag and walking off.
“It doesn’t feel like a win,” said Gauff on court. “Especially as we had such a great first set.”
“It’s not the way you want to finish a match, especially with someone who is so nice on and off the court.” Gauff said the Tunisian had indicated she was not seriously injured.
“I know she’s going to feel better tomorrow and should be fine for Wimbledon.”
On Thursday, reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova retired with a right hip injury from her second-round match.
On Friday, former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina pulled out while trailing Azarenka in the quarter-finals.

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