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San Diego Open: Navarro upsets third-seeded Sakkari to reach semifinals

Qualifier Emma Navarro of the United States upset third-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (4) on Thursday night to advance to the semifinals of the Cymbiotika San Diego Open.

Navarro scored her first win over a Top 10 opponent, as both players were making their San Diego Open debut. Sakkari’s loss meant the top three seeds made early exits.

Fourth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, a wild-card entrant, beat seventh-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-5, 6-3.

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“It’s very difficult to play her and it’s more difficult because we play doubles together and I really like her,” said Krejcikova, who is ranked No. 13 in the world. “I knew she was going to fight to the very end, and I was ready for that.”

The 5-foot-10 right-hander, who has struggled with injuries and health concerns in recent years after winning the French Open in 2021, said she was grateful to be rid of various ailments that curtailed her career.

“I’m enjoying tennis and having fun,” Krejcikova said. “It’s tennis, it’s a game, so the most important thing is that I’m healthy.”

Krejcikova advances to the semifinals to face unseeded Danielle Collins, an American who upset second-seeded Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 6-3.

“My game sometimes goes up and down, but I felt like I was really making my shots today,” said Collins, who reached the event’s semifinals for the second straight year. “I was in a good head space the whole match.”

American Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion who received a wild-card entry into the San Diego Open, scored a 6-2, 6-2 win over unseeded Anastasia Potapova of Russia.

“I love playing here,” said Kenin, who captured the USTA Girls National 18s title in 2015, also held at Barnes Tennis Center. “I feel like it’s my lucky court.”

Kenin, ranked 93rd, will face Navarro in the other semifinal.

CoCo Vandeweghe, who announced her retirement last week, teamed with Danielle Collins for a 2-6, 7-5, 11-9 comeback win over Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

Also Thursday, the WTA confirmed that next year’s edition of the Cymbiotika San Diego Open will be held in late February, prior to the annual BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The new calendar slot figures to attract more top-ranked players, as compared to this week’s tournament, which drew eight of the world’s top 20 players, but was held immediately after the U.S. Open.

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