Petkovic retires, Ostapenko books Suarez final

 27 Feb 2016 - 0:56

Petkovic retires, Ostapenko books  Suarez final
Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro returns the ball to Polish Agnieszka Radwanska during their Qatar Open semi-final tennis match at the at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex yesterday.

 

DOHA: Andrea Petkovic retired from her Qatar Open semi-final against Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko with a leg injury yesterday.
Petkovic quit when trailing 7-5, 1-0 with 18-year-old Ostapenko, a former Wimbledon Junior champion, set to meet Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in today’s final.
The pair met at Wimbledon last year when the Latvian surprisingly won in straight sets.
Petkovic, who dumped out fourth seed Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals on Thursday, retired after dropping her opening service game of the second set.
The German had stormed into a 5-1 lead at the beginning of the match, but the combination of her leg injury and an apparent problem with her back meant her advantage was quickly lost.
After losing her serve at 5-4 she then had 10 minutes of on-court medical treatment, during which her left thigh was heavily strapped.
But she could not delay the inevitable and lost the first set 7-5, before retiring one hour and 18 minutes into the match.
“I’m really happy with how I played today,” she said in her on-court interview.
“I’m sorry for Andrea that she had to retire. It’s not nice after reaching the semis because she’s great player. I’m really happy that I could fight from 5-1 and win the set.
“I’m really happy to play the finals tomorrow.”
In the evening’s first match, Suarez Navarro breezed past the highest seed left in the competition, Agnieszka Radwanska, dropping just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 victory.
In one of the best performances of her career, Suárez Navarro outthought and outplayed the WTA’s resident magician to run out a surprisingly comfortable 6-2, 6-0 winner.
After an even start, Suárez Navarro laid down a marker in the fifth game, flashing winners off either wing to get her nose in front. A few games later she had the insurance break before calmly serving out the set.
A nasty tumble in the first game of the second set briefly halted the Spaniard’s charge. But after dusting herself down, normal service was immediately resumed: a whipped cross-court forehand and then a wonderful instinctive volley handing her the break.
In stark contrast, Radwanska cut a forlorn figure, the brilliance that decorated her three-set victory over Roberta Vinci the previous evening conspicuous by its absence. The Pole’s mood darkened in the following game when she netted a routine forehand to spurn a rare break opportunity.
Suárez’s groundstrokes now in full flow, Radwanska was soon put out of her misery, the final four games flying by in a flurry of winners. 
“Today I feel really, really good,” Suárez Navarro, who hit 20 winners and just eight unforced errors, said. “I think also she was a little tired from yesterday.”
Suárez is also hoping to reach the doubles final with partner Sara Errani, and was quick to dismiss any suggestion that her visit from the trainer would jeopardize their chances. 
By reaching the semifinals Suárez guaranteed a return to the Top 10 and her latest win will see her rise to a career-high No.6 in the new rankings. She also  has a chance for revenge after Ostapenko dumped her out of Wimbledon last year in a shock victory. The Latvian won 6-2, 6-0 in the opening round at the All England Club. 

Agencies