Halep, Kudermetova enter final in Melbourne, injured Osaka withdraws

Image Source: ANI

Melbourne [Australia], January 8 (ANI): Former world number one Simona Halep booked a spot in the Melbourne Summer Set 1 final after holding off Chinese qualifier Zheng Qinwen on Saturday.

The Romanian thumped Chinese teenager 6-3, 6-2 to earn a shot at her 23rd career title on Sunday in what will be her first final since Cluj Napoca on home soil in November.

She has not landed the silverware since Rome in September 2020, due largely to a calf tear, which scuttled her mid-season in 2021 and saw her briefly fall outside the top 20 for the first time since 2013.

No.3 seed Veronika Kudermetova of Russia will face Halep in the final. Kudermetova was slated to face No.1 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan in the nightcap semifinal, but former World No.1 Osaka withdrew from their clash due to an abdominal injury.

Taking to Twitter, Osaka tweeted: “Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took. Thank you for all the love this past week I’ll try to rest up and I’ll see you soon!”

Kudermetova is now into her third career WTA singles final. The World No.31 made her first WTA singles final one year ago in Abu Dhabi, then earned her first WTA singles title at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston in April. (ANI)

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