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Kerber sets up Wimbledon semifinal vs Ostapenko

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LONDON – Angelique Kerber reached her third Wimbledon semifinal after converting her seventh match point to beat Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday, setting up a meeting with former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Ostapenko became the first Latvian woman to make the last four at the All England Club with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Dominika Cibulkova on a windy No. 1 Court.

Kerber, the former No. 1 and two-time major champion who was the runner-up at Wimbledon two years ago, took advantage of Kasatkina’s erratic serving and many errors to return to the last four. Kasatkina finished with seven double-faults, including one on break point in the second game and then two straight to hand Kerber a 5-3 lead in the first set – halting her momentum just after breaking to get back on serve with the help of one of the best rallies of the match.

Still, Kerber had some trouble closing things out.

She served for the victory at 5-4 in the second set, but got broken. When she served for it a second time, she needed to navigate a 16-point game that included five deuces and all of those match points, until forcing a forehand error on the last.

Ostapenko was more efficient, serving her match out at love and converting her first match point with her 14th backhand winner.

Ostapenko was the aggressor throughout, hitting 33 winners to Cibulkova’s six, but also hitting 28 unforced errors to 13 for her opponent. She repeatedly went for winners on her service returns, a strategy that helped her break Cibulkova five times.

Both players struggled to deal with the wind at times when serving, having to interrupt their ball-toss motion on several occasions in the second set.

They traded breaks early in both sets before Ostapenko broke decisively for a 3-2 lead in the second when Cibulkova sent a forehand long.

Later, Serena Williams resumed her quest for an eighth Wimbledon title when she played 52nd-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy.

In the fourth quarterfinal, 13th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany faced former French Open semifinalist Kiki Bertens, with both players having reached the last eight at Wimbledon for the first time.

Also, Juan Martin del Potro became the last man into the quarterfinals by beating Gilles Simon 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5).

The fifth-seeded del Potro failed to convert four match points when serving at 5-4 in the fourth set, but maintained his composure to close out the contest with his first opportunity in the tiebreaker that followed.

It was the only fourth-round contest to be carried over to Tuesday and lasted 4 hours, 24 minutes, making it the longest men’s singles match of the tournament.

Del Potro will face two-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Top-seeded Barty withdraws from French Open warm-up event

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STRASBOURG, France (AP) Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg clay-court tournament on Tuesday because of a right arm injury.

Barty was replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Diana Marcinkevica.

The eighth-ranked Australian said she would not take any risk ahead of the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.

“I gave it my best chance, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing my best tennis,” Barty said. “I’m busy the next two months and I need to look after my body now.”

Wild-card entry Tipsarevic advances at Geneva Open

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GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.

Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.

Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.

Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.

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