No. 2 seed Jessica Pegula withdrew ahead of Friday’s Adelaide International semifinal match against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina due to an illness.
It was the second straight walkover win in Australia for Kasatkina after Germany’s Laura Siegemund withdrew from their quarterfinal match with a leg injury.
Kasatkina will seek her seventh career WTA singles title against No. 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia. Ostapenko also will be chasing her seventh title after a 6-2, 7-6 (3) victory against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova. Ostapenko is 5-2 against Kasatkina.
Pegula is the No. 5 seed for the upcoming Australian Open and is slated to face Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino in the first round.
Top seed Elise Mertens of Belgium will try to win this Australian tournament for the third time (2017, 2018) when she faces first-time WTA Tour finalist and No. 2 seed Emma Navarro in Saturday’s final.
Mertens needed just under three hours to eliminate Australian wild card Daria Saville 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. Mertens earned the pivotal service break in the 11th game of the deciding set and then served out the match.
Navarro dispatched China’s Yue Yuan 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal. Navarro never faced a break point and struck four aces to set up her first-ever meeting with Mertens, who will be trying to collect her ninth title.
–Field Level Media
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