By Chris Oddo, Friday, October 11, 2013
Angelique Kerber nailed down the last WTA Championships qualifying spot by reaching the semifinals in Linz, Austria on Friday.
Photo Source: Getty Asia
Angelique Kerber rounded out the field for this month's WTA Championships with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Austrian wildcard Patricia Mayr-Achleitner. For the second consecutive year, and the second time in the WTA Championships 42-year history, all eight of the women's singles qualifiers will represent a different country.
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"I'm so excited to be returning to Istanbul for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships,” Kerber told the WTA. “The fans last year were amazing and I look forward for the chance to play against the best players in the world."
Kerber will be making her second appearance at the championships. In 2012 she had her breakout season, marked by her first top 10 finish. In 2013, she will be looking for her first career victory at Istanbul, as she dropped decisions to Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Serena Williams in round-robin play in 2012.
Kerber only lost 11 points on serve and saved both break points she faced against the world No. 107 in Linz on Friday. The victory improves Kerber's 2013 record to 42-21. She will face Carla Suarez Navarro in Saturday's semifinal.
Suarez Navarro defeated Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-3 to reach her fourth semifinal of the season.
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Stephens Upset by Voegele
Sloane Stephens' bid to reach a first career final will have to wait. The 20-year-old American, and current world No. 12, was upset by Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5 in quarterfinal action at Linz today. Stephens recovered from blowing a 5-2 lead to win the first set in the tiebreaker, but she did not have the same good fortune in the decider, as the world No. 58 rallied to take the last five games of the match.
Stephens, one of only three players to reach the fourth round of all four Grand Slams this season, is the only player in the WTA's top 20 that has yet to reach a tour-level final.
Ana Ivanovic also triumphed in quarterfinal action on Friday, taking down Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-4 to reach her third semifinal of the season. The former world No. 1 has yet to reach a final in 2013.