Haddad Maia eyeing third title in a row

Staff WritersAP
Beatriz Haddad Maia is marching towards a third straight WTA grass-court title in Eastbourne.
Camera IconBeatriz Haddad Maia is marching towards a third straight WTA grass-court title in Eastbourne. Credit: AP

Beatriz Haddad Maia has been given a helping hand in her bid for a third straight grass-court title ahead of Wimbledon.

The Brazilian advanced to the semi-finals at Eastbourne without hitting a ball on Thursday after her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, withdrew because of a right elbow injury.

Hadded Maia will be fresh when facing Petra Kvitova in the last four on Friday as she looks to follow up title wins in Nottingham and Birmingham over the past two weeks.

She hadn't won a WTA title before this short grass-court season that is going better than she could ever have imagined.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, ended the hopes of British wildcard Harriet Dart in a 6-3, 6-4 victory on centre court.

The other semifinal match will be between defending champion Jelena Ostapenko and 12th-seeded Camila Giorgi, who also had straight-set wins.

Much of the scrutiny at Eastbourne this week has been on the women's doubles, in which Serena Williams was competing in her comeback from a year away from tennis.

However, Williams and Ons Jabeur withdrew from the tournament on Thursday because of a right knee injury sustained by Jabeur.

Meanwhile, in the WTA grass-court event at Bad Homburg in Germany, Bianca Andreescu reached her first semi-final in over a year, and first on grass, with a 6-4 6-1 win over top-seeded Daria Kasatkina.

The former US Open winner broke Kasatkina's serve five times in a dominant showing.

It's the closest Andreescu has come to a title since she took time off to recharge and work on her mental health, missing the Australian Open before returning to the tour in April.

The Canadian's last title win was her breakout US Open victory in 2019, and her last final was in Miami in April 2021.

During that time, Andreescu has developed her interests away from the court, making music and writing a children's book inspired by her childhood on the tennis court.

The 22-year-old Andreescu will next play Simona Halep, whose quickfire 6-2 6-1 win over Amanda Anisimova puts her in back-to-back semi-finals after reaching the last four in Birmingham last week.

But defending champion Angelique Kerber lost for the first time in Bad Homburg as Alize Cornet beat her 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Cornet's semifinal opponent is her fellow Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, who beat Sabine Lisicki 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

Lisicki was in her first tour-level quarter-final since 2018 after years of struggling with knee injuries.

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