Petra Kvitova’s comeback from a lengthy injury layoff gathered momentum on Saturday as she reached the Aegon Classic final in Birmingham after Lucie Safarova retired from their semi-final with a leg injury.
Twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova, playing in just her second tournament of the year, was 6-1 1-0 up at the Edgbaston Priory Club when her Czech compatriot pulled out.
Kvitova will face Australian Ashleigh Barty who upset Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the other semi.
Kvitova is looking in impressive shape after her absence from the sport following a hand injury caused by a knife attack during an attempted robbery at her home in December.
Safarova was the latest player to withdraw in the latter stages of the WTA event.
On Friday, American Coco Vandeweghe retired with an ankle injury in her quarter-final against Muguruza.
In another last-eight game Barty also had a walkover, with Italian Camila Giorgi retiring with a leg injury in the first set.
The Australian, ranked 77th in the world, made the most of the opportunity as she beat the 2016 French Open champion and 2015 Wimbledon finalist Muguruza to earn a chance to win a second WTA title.