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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 7:31 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 7:31 AM (IST)

Kvitova topples Kerber to reach semifinals

Kvitova topples Kerber to reach semifinals
Petra Kvitova returns to Angelique Kerber during their quarterfinal on Thursday. AFP

Sydney: Czech Petra Kvitova overcame rain delays to beat defending champion Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-1 on Thursday and reach the Sydney International semifinals. “It was worth the wait to get back on court,” Kvitova said. “In the second time (off court) we played some games, some cards. I had a sandwich, I was listening to music and I was waiting (for) when the rain stopped.” Fifth seed Kvitova will face Belarusian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the semifinals. In the men’s draw, Andreas Seppi came back from a set down to knock out Greek top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6 6-4 6-4. World No. 37 Seppi will next face third seed Diego Schwartzman, who overcame Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 3-6 7-6(1). Reuters


Reality check for Murray

MELBOURNE: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic gave Andy Murray a stinging reality check in the lead-up to next week’s Australian Open, dominating the Briton 6-1 4-1 in a practice match at Melbourne Park on Thursday. Murray has struggled to regain form since undergoing hip surgery last January, and was quickly dismantled by the six-time Australian Open champion at Margaret Court Arena before the players called time on their match after less than an hour. Serbian Djokovic heads into the tournament as favourite to win a record seventh title and his third Grand Slam in a row, while five-time runner-up Murray, now ranked 230th, will have far lower expectations at the event starting on Monday. “The hip is incredibly difficult to come back from for especially a tennis player and someone that has worked as hard as he’s worked, put the miles on,” ESPN tennis pundit Patrick McEnroe said. “I hope he doesn’t retire any time soon. But I don’t see him playing if he at least doesn’t think he can be a factor in a Major.” Reuters

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