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No2 seed Naomi Osaka withdrew from her planned semi-final game against No. 1 backElise Mertens with 7 seeds at the Gippsland Trophy, which gives the Belgian a place in the final against Kaia Kanepi Kanepi is in her first WTA final since 2013

From WTA employees

Photo by Getty Images

No2 seed Naomi Osaka retired on Saturday before her semi-final match against No. 1 back from the Gippsland Trophy Elise Mertens with 7 seeds gives the Belgian a safe passage to her first final of the 2021 season

Mertens meets Kaia Kanepi on Sunday Estonia’s Kanepi continued her outstanding run at the Melbourne event with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) win over No. 1 fortEkaterina Alexandrova with 9 seeds reaches her first WTA final since 2013

“Sorry to Tennis Australia and the fans for retiring today I have a minor injury and with the AO [Australian Open] on the horizon I have to be careful I look forward to starting next week”

The 2019 Australian Open champion, Osaka, suffered a “slight injury” as a precaution before the start of the first Grand Slam event of the year, which begins in two days

While Mertens reached two finals on the clay courts in Prague and on the hard courts in Linz in 2020, the Belgian will be playing for her first individual title since she triumphed at the Qatar Total Open in Doha in early 2019

It was a much longer drought between the finals for the former world Nr15 Kanepi, who last played a championship game at the WTA almost eight years ago, won her fourth career title in Brussels

Yet the Estonians looked imperious as the event progressed, including the 12th Top 10 win of her career that came over Aryna Sabalenka in the second round and suppressed the Belarusian winning streak in 15 games It’s a run that is reminiscent of the days Down Under when she won the Brisbane title in 2012 p>

“Yes, I am really happy to be in the final!” 😊 @ KanepiKaia spoke after her semi-final victory # GippslandWTA BildTwittercom / jMv14ZYT30

“I didn’t expect to be in the final, I just expected to play well every game I play,” Kanepi said during her post-game press conference on the pitch

Six-time Grand Slam quarter-finals Kanepi held on to the highly competitive lean against Alexandrova’s strong groundstrokes.The pair had a nearly identical number of winners and easy mistakes, but ultimately Kanepi converted all three of their breakpoints while Alexandrova reversed theirs Chances only won 2: 5

@KanepiKaia advances to the # GippslandWTA final! 9 seeds Alexandrova leads 6-3, 7-6 (6) The Estonians have reached their first final since 2013 🙌 BildTwittercom / fDiXa6vZIF

The first set of the hard-hitting affair was decided by Kanepi’s early break in the second game, which she never canceled. Both Alexandrova’s breakpoints at 4-2 went begging when Kanepi took the lead in one set

Kanepi’s failures shook her when she served 6: 5 for the match in the second set, and the Estonian also missed a lead in the draw when 4: 0 turned 6: 6 on her second match point Kanepi hit a strong serve 7: 6 and prevailed with a forehand winner to achieve the victory and to achieve her first final since 2013

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Naomi Osaka

World news – AU – Osaka withdraws, Mertens and Kanepi play the final of the Gippsland Trophy

Source: https://www.wtatennis.com/news/2016131/osaka-withdraws-from-gippsland-trophy-mertens-into-final