Kvitova into Birmingham final after Safarova retires

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Kvitova into Birmingham final after Safarova retires

Earlier in the week Safarova saved two match points against third-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round and three against Gavrilova in a what was an extremely entertaining three-hour contest. Muguruza is now in her third semifinals match of the season and is coming off a match in which she got 68 percent of her first serves in play.

― Reuters picBIRMINGHAM, June 24 ― Czech Petra Kvitova continued her impressive comeback by moving into the Aegon Classic semi-finals with a 6-4 7-6 (5) win over France's Kristina Mladenovic yesterday.

The Queenslander progressed to a last-four appointment with French Open victor Garbine Muguruza after Italian Camila Giorgi retired when trailing 2-5 with a groin strain. Paris was a bit weird and odd and I couldn't play the best over there. "So this is quite a dream".

Things became complicated late in the second set when Kvitova was broken serving for the match and taken to a tie-break.

Kvitova, 16th in the world, is looking forward to facing the 21-year-old Barty, ranked No. 77 and advancing to the biggest final of her career.

Victor of the Kuala Lumpur title in March, Barty could crack the top 50 - only 18 months after returning to tennis from cricket - by the end of Wimbledon.

She sliced the ball hard, kept it wide and low, and denied Muguruza chances to develop pace and rhythm with her elegant groundstrokes. Barty hit several incredible winners including this one on her forehand. With a piercing backhand victor, Barty sealed the 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory, her first ever against a top 20 player.

Muguruza called for her coach, sought to swing the ball around, and eventually just tried to scrap as best she could. Barty saved a break point in the second game of the second set to end her drought, and she scored a precious break in game 5 to take the lead. "But to be honest I didn't even realize she was going to retire".

"I think she played very well", Muguruza said of Barty in her post-match press conference. "I like slicing it around on the grass, and I didn't do much wrong".

Lucie Safarova prevailed in a marathon quarter-final encounter with Australian Daria Gavrilova at the Aegon Classic on Friday, as Petra Kvitova ousted Kristina Mladenovic.

Kvitova will next face Lucie Safarova, someone she has known since childhood in the Czech Republic.

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