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Thursday January 20th, 2022 3:54PM

Ons Jabeur retires from Sydney quarterfinal with back injury

By The Associated Press
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SYDNEY (AP) — Ons Jabeur was forced to retire hurt in her Sydney Tennis Classic quarterfinals on Thursday, allowing Anett Kontaveit to move through the semifinals.

The fourth-seeded Kontaveit advanced when seventh-seeded Jabeur retired with a low back injury after losing the opening set 6-4.

After nearly an hour on court, Jabeur received a medical timeout after the set was completed, and attempted to start the second set. But after serving a let and a first-serve fault, the Tunisian walked to the net for a match-ending hug.

“I really hope that Ons is going to be fine for next week and that it’s nothing too serious,” Kontaveit said. “The first set was really competitive and we’ve had some tough matches before, but she’s always come on top. I was really happy to get the set and that I was playing the way I was playing.”

Attempting to reach a fourth straight final, Kontaveit advances to a semifinal against third-seeded Barbora Krejcikova, who had a 6-0, 6-2 win over France’s Caroline Garcia.

Through two matches Krejcikova has lost eight games.

In the men's tournament in Sydney, former No. 1 Andy Murray, playing on a wildcard, advanced to the semifinals when eighth-seeded David Goffin retired at the start of the second set. Murray took the first set 6-2 in 50 minutes.

At the Adelaide International, former US Open champion Marin Cilic kept up strong early-season form on Thursday to beat American Tommy Paul 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and reach the semifinals of the second Adelaide International.

Fourth-seeded Cilic of Croatia has had four wins in five matches this year and also reached the semifinals of the first Adelaide International last week before losing to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

In a match of strong servers, Cilic served 14 aces to Paul’s eight and won 84 percent of first serve points.

Paul also had been in solid form coming into Thursday’s match, winning 12 of his last 14 matches. He won his first career title at the Stockholm Open last year, beating Denis Shapovalov in the final and moving into the top-50 for the first time.

Paul beat compatriot Frances Tiafoe in the first round this week and reached the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Benjamin Bonzi.

Cilic reached the last eight win a 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over Jaume Munar.

Khachanov was beaten 7-6 (7), 7-5 in his quarterfinal by 58th-ranked qualifier Arthur Rinderknech of France.

In the women’s draw, third-seeded Coco Gauff beat Ana Konjuh of Croatia 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last four.

Tune-up tournaments are continuing in Sydney and Adelaide this week ahead of next week's Australian Open.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP Sports - Men's Tennis
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