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Kvitova strolls into Birmingham semis


Birmingham: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova kept her hopes alive for a second successive title at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, beating German Julia Goerges 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Friday.

The 28-year-old Czech, who has lifted four WTA titles this year, dominated the contest with 20 winners and saved all three break points she faced to progress to her sixth career semifinal on grass.

Kvitova has not dropped a set this week, and recorded a fifth consecutive quarterfinal win this season.

Up next, for Kvitova is Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, who produced one of her finest grasscourt performances to put away second seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.

Svitolina made 25 unforced errors, allowing Buzarnescu to capitalise with a pair of break points in each set to book a place in her first-ever Premier-level semifinal in just her second grass tournament at WTA level.

“I’m so happy with my game today. I really managed to focus and play well,” Buzarnescu said after the match.

“It’s really been an amazing two weeks I’ve had, having played so little in the grass in my career.”

Earlier in the day, 2009 winner Magdalena Rybarikova and two-time runner-up Barbora Strycova set up an intriguing semifinal clash after the pair collected convincing victories. Rybarikova ended the run of Slovenian qualifier Dalila Jakupovic 6-2, 6-4, while Strycova progressed after her opponent Lesia Tsurenko was forced to retire with an injury, trailing 7-5, 3-0.

— Reuters

WTA Birmingham

Quarterfinals: Barbora Strycova (CZE) bt Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 7-5, 3-0 — retired; Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) bt Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) 6-2, 6-4; Petra Kvitova (CZE x4) bt Julia Goerges (GER x5) 6-1, 6-4; Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROM) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x2) 6-3, 6-2

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