Eastbourne: Heather Watson into semi-finals after Kvitova withdraws

Heather Watson
It is Watson's first WTA tour singles semi-final since she won the Japan Open in October 2012

Heather Watson is into the semi-finals at Eastbourne after Petra Kvitova pulled out with a hamstring injury.

Watson, 22, who will face Madison Keys, 19, in the last four on Friday, becomes the first Briton to reach the singles semi-finals since Jo Durie in 1982.

"I am just pleased to be in the semi-final now and look forward to tomorrow," Watson told the BBC.

"I was shocked because this has never happened to me before. I wished her a full recovery for Wimbledon."

Watson beats Flavia Pennetta to reach the quarter-finals at Eastbourne

Czech Kvitova, 24, hopes to be fit for SW19, where she is seeded sixth.

The 2011 champion says she doesn't believe the injury to her right hamstring is too serious.

"I started to feel it yesterday morning," said Kvitova.

"I played quite a solid match yesterday, but today was much worse. I hope that some days off will help.

"Wimbledon is starting on Monday and I need to be ready for there."

Watson's next opponent, Keys, from the United States, defeated compatriot Lauren Davis 6-2 6-1 on Thursday.

Keys and Watson met in the first round of Wimbledon last year, with the American winning 6-3 7-5.

However, Watson was still recovering from glandular fever at the time and was not fully fit.

Drama in Eastbourne quarter-final

Friday's encounter is Watson's first WTA tour singles semi-final since she won the Japan Open in October 2012.

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, the 2009 champion at Eastbourne, is also into the last four after coming from a set down to defeat Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-2.

There was a controversial end to the first set when, with Giorgi leading the tie-break 7-6, umpire Alison Hughes stopped the next point after she made an incorrect call.

Giorgi served a double fault when the point was replayed and the Italian was given a ball abuse warning for aggressively smashing it into the crowd.

Wozniacki will meet Germany's Angelique Kerber, who defeated Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-1.

Top seed Richard Gasquet reached the men's semi-finals, beating Slovak Martin Klizan 6-3 6-4.

The Frenchman, who is seeking to regain full fitness after recovering from a back injury, will next play Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, who beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

American Sam Querrey is also into the semi-finals after beating Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

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