On semifinal day in Doha, only one match was played. Garbine Muguruza was to square off against Victoria Azarenka but a back injury prevented the 2-time Doha champion from taking the court.
“Unfortunately, the pain in my back that I experienced during yesterday’s match has not gone away enough in order for me to be able to compete tonight,” Azarenka said in a statement. “I have loved being back here in Doha this week, and want to thank the tournament and everyone involved with the organization of this great event for hosting us and making it possible to play during these challenging times.
“I am very appreciative of being awarded a wildcard to compete here this week, and I am looking forward to being back in Doha again next year. Lastly, wishing all the remaining players in the draw the best of luck for the remainder of the tournament.”
Petra Kvitova did take the court to take on Australian Open quarterfinalist Jessica Pegula and scratched by the American 6-4, 6-4.
The Czech broke six times and hit 26 winners to pace the win. Pegula was up a break in the second but ended up dropping six of the last seven games.
“Today was so windy, and I’m not sure if it was a matter of tennis, but it was really about putting lot of balls into the court,” Kvitova said. “But then Jessica played really great, and I really have to play great, as well.”
In this match-up of former Wimbledon champions, Kvitova leads 4-1 including a win in the 2018 final.
“I think it’s going to be a tough match,” Muguruza said. “We played here in another final three years ago, so just looking forward to playing that match and hopefully getting the trophy.”
While Muguruza seeks just her 8th titles, Kvitova is bidding for a 28th.
Kvitova will now aim for her 28th career WTA singles title, and her first since she triumphed in Stuttgart nearly two years ago.
“We played many times already against Garbine,” Garbine said. “We played a final here 2018, as well, which was roller-coaster. I know she’s really in great form. She’s playing really well.
“We play a similar game. So it will be really, I think, about a few points, as it was in the past.”
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