Indian Wells, CA (Sports Network) - Both Angelique Kerber and Caroline
Wozniacki advanced to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open after their
quarterfinal opponents were forced to withdraw because of injury.
Top seed and defending champion Victoria Azarenka was scheduled to play
Wozniacki, but couldn't battle through a right ankle injury and was unable to
go. She had not lost a match this year since pulling out of Brisbane with a
"On my warmup today I tested it out as much as possible," Azarenka said in a
press conference Thursday afternoon. "I tried absolutely everything I could to
do, but I have been advised by the doctor, by my own team, that it's just a
very, very high risk already. I mean, it's already really painful, but it's
very high risk to make it much worse."
Kerber's opponent, Sam Stosur, also was forced to withdraw because of a right
calf injury, which she injured in her fourth-round win over Mona Barthel.
"I hurt my right calf muscle in the last game of my match against Mona Barthel
when I was serving for the match, so I don't know if you can get any more
unlucky than that," Stosur said Thursday morning.
"It's really disappointing. I love the conditions here at the BNP Paribas Open
and I love playing in front of this crowd, so to have to pull out without even
being able to get on court is probably as bad as it gets. I think this is only
the second time I've ever pulled out of a match in my career, and
unfortunately there isn't anything I can do about it."
The fourth-seeded Kerber will now challenge former world No. 1 Wozniacki in
Kerber will play in her second semifinal of 2013 -- having lost to
Dominika Cibulkova in the Sydney semis back in January -- while Wozniacki will
appear in her first. Wozniacki won this event back in 2011.
Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko have already advanced to the final four,
winning quarterfinal matches on Wednesday. Sharapova, the 2006 Indian Wells
champ and last year's runner-up to Azarenka, topped Sara Errani in straight
sets, while Kirilenko dumped fifth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova in three.
This Premier Mandatory WTA event will pay its newest champion $1 million.
The Sports Network