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Sabalenka books place in Linz semis

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka has continued her comfortable progress at the Linz Open as she booked her semi-final spot at the expense of the injured Oceane Dodin.

The Belarusian, ranked 11th in the world, is chasing an eighth WTA Tour title and moved closer when misfortune struck her French opponent as Sabalenka was leading 6-3 3-3.

Dodin appeared to turn her right ankle, sat down at the back of the court and called the physio before deciding she would have to retire.

Sabalenka’s win set up a last-four meeting with the Czech Barbora Krejcikova, long known as a doubles specialist but now doing just fine on her own as she booked a second career WTA semi-final – and first in three years – with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

“I’m really happy. This means a lot to me that I’m even able to be here and able to play,” Krejcikova told the WTA website.

“It’s obviously very difficult with everything happening in the world right now. I’m just really fortunate to be able to compete, have fun, and enjoy tennis.”

Second-seeded Elise Mertens is also through after beating Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 6-1 and the Belgian will next meet Ekaterina Alexandrova, who saw off French Open semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-1.

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