Former world No.6 Carla Suarez Navarro is through to the Connecticut Open semi-finals after three-time champion Petra Kvitova's retirement during their clash on Thursday night.
In a high-quality first set from both women, the Spaniard capitalized on a string of loose errors from the No.3 seed to break for 3-1 and closed it out 6-3 on her third set point.
Kvitova, who had beaten 2016 champion Agnieszka Radwanska and Zarina Diyas back-to-back to reach the quarter-finals, immediately called for the trainer as the players changed ends and called it a day moments later, complaining of a left shoulder injury.
It was not the way Suarez Navarro would have liked to progress but the result sent her through to her first semi-final of the season after three prior quarter-final defeats at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Madrid.
She will meet Puerto Rican qualifier Monica Puig for a place in Saturday’s final.
“I’m sad for her because I have a good relation with her,” Suarez Navarro said. “I was playing really aggressive, moving quickly. Maybe my serve was so-so but tomorrow I have another opportunity to serve better.”
It was the pair’s 12th career meeting and the ledger is now tied at six wins apiece. Kvitova’s game was one that clearly matched up well against the Spaniard’s.
“I don’t really know, maybe the balls don’t bounce too much,” Suarez Navarro said of her success facing Kvitova. “She’s lefty though so it’s never easy.”
It ends Kvitova's bid for a fourth Connecticut Open title as she turns her focus to resting her shoulder and preparing for the US Open.
“It was in pain. It started during last night when I called the physio after the second set,” the Czech said. “I already felt it in the second yesterday but somehow I found a way to win that match. I was hoping today it would be better but unfortunately it wasn’t that good.
“I couldn’t really serve as well as I wanted, the service speed wasn’t that high. When you’re playing someone like Carla, if you’re not ready it’s really tough.”