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Updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 05:11 AM IST

WTA finals: US Open champion Naomi Osaka retires, Kiki Bertens progresses

Naomi Osaka reacts after retiring during her singles match against Kiki Bertens at the WTA Finals. Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP |

Naomi Osaka reacts after retiring during her singles match against Kiki Bertens at the WTA Finals. Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP |

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Singapore: Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka’s WTA Finals debut ended in tears on Friday as she was forced to retire against Kiki Bertens, handing the Dutchwoman a surprise spot in the semi-finals.

Bertens won the first set 6-3 in 47 minutes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium before US Open champion Osaka, who wiped away tears, forfeited the match.

It was a bitterly disappointing end for the 21-year-old, who came into Singapore as the form player but lost three-set matches to Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber. But it was enough for Bertens to seal a final four spot in her debut at the season finale, having defeated top seed Kerber earlier in the round-robin phase.

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Bertens only qualified for the WTA Finals just days before the tournament after world number one Simona Halep withdrew due to injury.

“It’s never nice to win a match like this,” Bertens said after the match.

“I want to try to keep on going. I’ve had a lot of tough matches here.” Osaka had started the match brightly, rolling through her service games before being broken in the eighth game.

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With her upper leg heavily strapped, Osaka called a medical timeout after the eighth game and required treatment in the locker room.

She came back on court but dropped her serve to love, culminating in a double fault which turned out to be her last action at the WTA Finals. Kerber plays the unbeaten Stephens in the last round-robin match from Red Group, with the winner joining Bertens in the semi-finals.

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Published on: Friday, October 26, 2018, 04:43 PM IST
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