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Raducanu forced to retire in deciding set of Seoul semis sending Ostapenko into the final
Jelena Ostapenko benefited from Emma Raducanu’s retirement on Saturday and will face second seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the final
Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu was forced to retire in the third set of her semi-final contest of the WTA Korea Open on Saturday sending top seed Jelena Ostapenko into the singles final in Seoul.
Raducanu, playing her first semi-final since her stunning US Open triumph last year, won the first set of the match 6-4, although she trailed her Latvian rival by 2-0.
In the second set, Raducanu broke early to take a 2-1 lead but was unable to convert the break. Ostapenko, a former Roland-Garros champion, bounced back to take five of the next six games to claim the second set 6-3.
In the decider, Raducanu struggled with a left hip/upper leg injury and decided to pull out of the contest as she lost 10 points in a row to go down 3-0.
Ostapenko has been extended to three sets on three occasions this week. Earlier in the tournament, she defeated wild card Boyoung Jeong (6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2)), Russian Anastasia Gasanova (6-3, 5-7, 7-5) and Andorran lucky loser Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva (6-2, 6-1).
The Latvian will face second seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-4 in Sunday’s final. The Russian defeated seventh seed Tatjana Maria in the first semi-final of the day.
Both players will be gunning for their second WTA singles title of the season. The Latvian won the Dubai Open on hard courts in February while Alexandrova claimed the Libema Open in S’hertogenbosch, Netherlands on grass.
Alexandrova has a 4-2 edge over Ostapenko in head-to-head with the Russian winning their most recent encounter in Madrid this year in three sets.