Sun, Jun 24, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Kvitova, Buzarnescu to meet in semis; Chan-Yang defeated


Petra Kvitova, who hopes a successful title defense at the Birmingham Classic would help her bid to win Wimbledon for a third time, on Friday moved into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Germany’s Julia Goerges.

Fourth seed Kvitova took 1 hour, 6 minutes to dispatch an opponent who reached the top 10 for the first time last month, and is one of three players to have hit 400 aces in a season.

“I was very pleased with everything,” Kvitova said. “I knew how well she can play, even when she is down.”

The Czech player’s display underlined an impression that she is performing at a significantly higher level than when she won the Birmingham grass-court event a year ago, after returning from a serious hand injury inflicted by a burglar.

Kvitova next plays the unseeded Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, who defeated Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.

Buzarnescu dedicated the victory to her family and coaching team, those close to her who believed she could rescue her career after two knee surgeries and twice being sidelined for more than two years.

“Everyone else said, no chance, don’t play, give up, but they said, you can try one more time,” she said.

Buzarnescu has won more matches (82) than any other player since she recovered from a knee operation a year ago.

Barbora Strycova, the grass-court expert who on Thursday ousted Garbine Muguruza, was leading 7-5, 3-0, when Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko retired with a painful left hip.

The unseeded Strycova next plays Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova, who was the Birmingham champion nine years ago and a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year.

Rybarikova, who is also unseeded, swept past Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic 6-2, 6-4.

In the doubles quarter-finals, Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching and partner Yang Zhaoxuan from China fell to Belgian Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

Additional reporting by staff writer

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