Garcia falls, Kvitova retires at Connecticut Open

The top two remaining seeds at the Connecticut Open were eliminated in the quarterfinals on Thursday in New Haven, as French No. 2 seed Caroline Garcia fell and Czech No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova retired while trailing.

Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig overcame six double faults to defeat Garcia 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 in a match in which both players won exactly 92 points.

Puig narrowly earned the edge in break points, converting six of 14 opportunities while saving 10 of 15. Trailing 5-2 in the first set, she broke Garcia in consecutive games while staving off two set points on her own serve and claimed the set. After quickly losing the second set, Puig stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the deciding frame and broke her opponent once more for good measure.

In the semifinals, she will face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, who took the first set from Kvitova 6-3 before the latter retired with a shoulder injury. Kvitova’s withdrawal comes after seventh-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens and Great Britain’s Johanna Konta withdrew Tuesday due to sickness and after top-seeded Romanian Simona Halep withdrew with an Achilles injury.

Konta’s withdrawal gave Suarez Navarro a walkover in the previous round, so the Spaniard has played just one set since a first-round win over Czech No. 8 seed Barbora Strycova.

Fifth-seeded German Julia Goerges had no trouble advancing Thursday, defeating Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-2 in 89 minutes.

“I think my attitude was very important today,” Goerges told reporters afterward. “I stayed focused on every point I was playing and really went for my shots. It’s part of my game to be aggressive and I’m really glad it worked out so well.”

She will face Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals, after Sabalenka defeated Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-2 in just 63 minutes.

The pair has met only once before, a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory for Sabalenka earlier this year at the Eastbourne International.

“It was quite tough match,” Sabalenka said of the previous encounter with Goerges. “She was really aggressive. She was playing really well there.”

—Field Level Media

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