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By Tennis Now | Friday, September 20, 2019

 
Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber is the first Osaka semifinalist. Kerber held a 6-4, 4-6, 2-1 lead over Madison Keys when the 16th-ranked American was forced to retire.

Photo credit: Toray Pan Pacific Open Facebook

Angelique Kerber's game was ailing before she traveled east.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has found a remedy in Osaka.

Mouratoglou: Serena Facing Highest Pressure

Kerber held a 6-4, 4-6, 2-1 lead over Madison Keys when the 16th-ranked American could not continue and was forced to retire.

"It was a really good match in the first two sets, and this is never the way that you want to win the match," Kerber said. "I hope Madison will recover really soon so she is ready for the next tournaments.

"I tried to give everything I could today, and I'm looking forward to playing the next round."



Keys' retirement makes Kerber the first semifinalist in Osaka, where rain washed out the rest of the day's scheduled quarterfinal matches.

Mired in a four-match losing streak when she arrived in Osaka, Kerber has charged into her first semifinal since she fell to Karolina Pliskova in the Eastbourne final in June.

The fourth-seeded German will play either Japanese wild card Misaki Doi or Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the final.

Camila Giorgi, who toppled 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, will face US Open doubles champion Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals.

The winner of that match will face either top-seeded Naomi Osaka or Yulia Putintseva in the semfiinals.

 

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