Garbine Muguruza

Cincinnati, Aug 20 (IANS) Spain’s tennis player Garbine Muguruza advanced to the women’s singles semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Hungarian qualifier Timea Babos.

The fourth-seeded Spaniard on Friday afternoon did not drop her serve once and converted three of the nine break-point chances she created to take the match in just over an hour and a half, Efe news reported.

With the win, the 22-year-old Muguruza ran her career mark against the 41st-ranked Babos to 4-0.

In Saturday’s first semi-final, Muguruza will take on Czech No.15 seed Karolina Pliskova, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 winner Friday over seventh-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Second-seeded German Angelique Kerber also advanced to the semi-finals on Friday with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro and is now just two wins from wresting the No.1 ranking away from American legend Serena Williams, who withdrew from the Western & Southern Open due to a shoulder injury.

The second-seeded Kerber will square off against either Polish No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska or third-seeded Romanian Simona Halep in Saturday’s second semifinal.

In the men’s event in Cincinnati, fourth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem and will next play either Scottish top seed Andy Murray or Australia’s Bernard Tomic in Saturday evening’s first semifinal.

The second semi-final will pit Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, a 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 winner over American Steve Johnson, against Croatian No.12 seed Marin Cilic, who defeated countryman Borna Coric 6-2, 0-0, ret.

The Western & Southern Open is one of the biggest hard-court tournaments on the ATP Tour and WTA Tour calendars and a key tune-up event for the US Open, which gets under way on August 29.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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