Rad­wan­ska ad­vances to semi­fi­nals at WTA Fi­nals

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

De­fend­ing cham­pion Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska took the fi­nal spot in the semi­fi­nals of the WTA Fi­nals, beat­ing Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-3 yes­ter­day.

Rad­wan­ska, who fin­ished 2-1 in the round robin, will play topseeded An­gelique Ker­ber in Satur­day’s semi­fi­nals.

Ker­ber won the Aus­tralian Open and the U.S. Open this sea­son, and reached the Wim­ble­don fi­nal.

“I think I re­ally have noth­ing to lose at the mo­ment, es­pe­cially (since) I’m go­ing to play the best player of the sea­son,” Rad­wan­ska said of the top-ranked Ger­man. “She’s played in­cred­i­ble ten­nis this year.”

Ear­lier, Svet­lana Kuznetsova earned first place in the White Group de­spite los­ing to Gar­bine Mugu­ruza 3-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Kuznetsova will next play Do­minika Cibulkova, who reached the semi­fi­nals de­spite fin­ish­ing 12. Pliskova of­fered Rad­wan­ska too many free points, mak­ing 29 un­forced er­rors to only eight for the Pole.

Rad­wan­ska ini­tially trailed 4-2 in the first set, but she soon re­cov­ered to 4-4.

“I just re­ally play my best ten­nis against her,” Rad­wan­ska said. “I can re­ally play my game and do my things, things that I want to do on court and have a good rhythm.”

In the sec­ond set, Rad­wan­ska scored the fi­nal ser­vice break in the eighth game when Pliskova net­ted two con­sec­u­tive over­heads.

Kuznetsova man­aged to win the first set against Mugu­ruza, but looked fa­tigued af­ter that.

“Def­i­nitely, you don’t want to lose the match,” said Kuznetsova, the last player to qual­ify for the sea­son-end­ing tour­na­ment. “You try to fight. Some­times the lack of en­ergy just won’t let you do that.”

For­mer champ Tsonga, Karlovic ad­vance to Vi­enna semi­fi­nals

Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga de­feated Al­bert Ramos-Vi­no­las of Spain 6-2, 7-6 (5) yes­ter­day to set up a semi­fi­nal against Croa­tia’s Ivo Karlovic at the Erste Bank Open.

It will be the third semi­fi­nal ap­pear­ance of the sea­son for the 15th-ranked French­man, who lost the pre­vi­ous two, in Auck­land and Monte Carlo.

Sixth-seeded Tsonga, who won the event in 2011, failed to score a point while serv­ing at 5-1 but broke again to close out the first set, and con­verted his third match point in the sec­ond-set tiebreaker.

Ear­lier, the 21st-ranked Karlovic used one of his 29 aces to save a match point be­fore beat­ing Karen Khachanov of Rus­sia 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Karlovic, who won ti­tles in New­port and Los Ca­bos, ad­vanced to his sixth semi­fi­nal of the sea­son.

Gael Mon­fils pulls out of Paris Masters with rib in­jury

French­man Gael Mon­fils has pulled out of next week’s Paris Masters be­cause of a rib in­jury.

The eighth-ranked Mon­fils, a US Open semi­fi­nal­ist this year, has al­ready qual­i­fied for the sea­so­nend­ing ATP fi­nals in Lon­don next month.

He is mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance at the fi­nals.

Tour­na­ment or­gan­is­ers said Fri­day that Spa­niard Mar­cel Gra­nollers has also pulled out of the Paris Masters, with­out giv­ing a rea­son.

They will be re­placed in the main draw by Ukrainian Illya Marchenko and Ar­gen­tine Guido Pella.

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