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Wrist injury ends Suarez Navarro’s bid to reach WTA Finals

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MOSCOW — A wrist injury killed off Carla Suarez Navarro’s hopes of qualifying for the WTA Finals as the Spanish player retired while facing Australian Daria Gavrilova in the Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.

Needing to win the Kremlin Cup to qualify for the elite competition in Singapore this weekend, Suarez Navarro was down 6-4, 3-0 to Gavrilova in the second round when she retired.

Gavrilova, who was born in Moscow, will play either seventh-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia or Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the quarterfinals.

Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova remains on course to claim the last WTA Finals place after she beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-4, 7-5 in their second-round match. The Russian was in strong form, landing 76 percent of her first serves, and next plays either Hungarian Timea Babos or French player Kristina Mladenovic.

Kuznetsova will qualify for the WTA Finals only if she wins the Kremlin Cup. Otherwise, the place goes to Britain’s Johanna Konta.

The fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine eased past Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-2 and into the quarterfinals. Svitolina next plays 18-year-old Croatian Ana Konjuh, who had a second-round walkover when Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova was unable to play.

In the men’s event, seventh-seeded Paolo Lorenzi became the first seeded player to go out, losing to fellow Italian Fabio Fognini 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in the second round.

Kasatkina upsets Venus Williams to reach Indian Wells final

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a nearly three-hour baseline struggle to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night.

Kasatkina was two points from defeat, trailing 4-5 and 0-30 in the third set when Williams committed four straight errors as the 20-year-old Russian tied it 5-all.

Williams won just two more points as Kasatkina took the last two games to close out the match in 2 hours, 48 minutes. Kasatkina dropped her racket near the baseline and covered her face with her hands as she walked to the net.

After shaking hands, Kasatkina pumped her fists and shook her head slightly as if in disbelief at beating the 37-year-old American and advancing to the biggest final of her young career.

Top-ranked Simona Halep took on Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old from Japan, in the other semifinal.

After losing the first set, Kasatkina was visited by her coach on court. Philippe Dehaes told her, “She’s 37, you’re 20. Make her work a lot.”

When she wasn’t trading shots from the baseline, a nervy Kasatkina fooled Williams with drop shots, including two that landed just over the net near the sideline. The Russian tossed up lobs over the 6-foot-1 American – some worked, some didn’t, but she was undeterred.

There were 14 service breaks in the match.

Williams rallied from 3-1 down to win the first set. She trailed 3-1 again in the second and tied it 3-all when Kasatkina was broken on a double fault.

Kasatkina won the last four games in a row to take the second set. The players dueled through eight deuces in an epic eighth game, with the Russian turning back six break points against her. Williams pulled a forehand wide to lose the game.

Kasatkina’s coach visited her again before the third set.

“You go for it?” he asked her.

“Sure,” she replied, and they slapped hands.

Williams served a love game to go up 5-4. She led love-30 on Kasatkina’s serve in the next game before her forehand deserted her.

Williams double-faulted twice in a row to drop serve and trail 6-5. Kasatkina won on her second match point when Williams netted a backhand.

Kasatkina now owns a 2-1 record against Williams, who won 10-8 in the third round at Wimbledon in 2016.

Juan Martin del Potro defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Milos Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to reach the men’s semifinals.

More AP tennis coverage:

Maria Sharapova withdraws from Miami with forearm injury

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Miami Open that begins next week because of a left forearm injury.

Sharapova announced the decision on Friday. She’ll be replaced in the main draw by American Jennifer Brady.

Sharapova lost in the first round at Indian Wells last week and in the third round of the Australian Open in January. She returned to the tour last year after a 15-month doping ban.

The women’s field includes eight-time Key Biscayne champion Serena Williams and No. 1-ranked Simona Halep. The men’s field includes defending champion Roger Federer and six-time Key Biscayne champ Novak Djokovic.