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Wozniacki To Face Kerber In Semis

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Kerber© Getty ImagesAngelique Kerber takes a 3-2 career lead into her clash with Caroline Wozniacki.

Former champion Caroline Wozniacki will face fourth seed Angelique Kerber in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open. Kerber goes into the clash with a 3-2 head-to-head lead over Wozniacki, having won their past three meetings, most recently prevailing in three sets in Beijing last year.

"She's a very good player and she likes to play here," said Wozniacki. "Last year she did very well here, as well. It's not going to be an easy match, but I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a good match, I think."

“It starts again from zero and it will be a tough match tomorrow,” said Kerber, referring to her career lead over Wozniacki. “So I will just try to focus on my things and have fun and play my tennis.”

Both Wozniacki and Kerber were the beneficiaries of walkovers on Thursday. Wonziacki had been due to face defending champion Victoria Azarenka, but the Belarusian was forced to withdraw with a right ankle injury. Meanwhile, Samantha Stosur withdrew against Kerber due to a right calf injury.

"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," explained Azarenka. "I mean, it's already really painful, but it's very high risk to make it much worse.

"I'm extremely disappointed, because I feel I'm playing really well right now," said Azarenka, who came into Indian Wells on the back of victories at the Australian Open and Doha. "I was so excited to be playing here. I love this tournament. But I have to think a little bit in the long term.  I'm going to be back here next year to play, and I'll be as excited again."

Speaking about her withdrawal, Stosur said, “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. I think we only played another four points in that match. I felt something go in my calf and it was hurting a fair bit. Yesterday I took the day off practice and only did treatment, probably iced it about 10 times. This morning I thought I would give it a shot, and tried to go out and warm up, and after about five minutes I knew that there was no chance I could play unfortunately.”

“It’s really disappointing. I had a bit of a rough start to the year and I feel like now my tennis has really picked up, and I’ve been playing really quite well these last few days. 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.”

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