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Sabalenka advances to Austria semi after opponent injured

2018 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai - Day 4

ZHUHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 02: Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus returns a shot against Caroline Garcia of France during their women’s singles match on day 4 of the 2018 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai at Hengqin Tennis Center on November 2, 2018 in Zhuhai, China. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)

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LINZ, Austria -- Top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka advanced to the semifinals of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz after her opponent was injured and left the court in a wheelchair on Friday.

French qualifier Oceane Dodin trailed 6-3, 3-3 when she slipped on her right foot while attempting to change direction after landing from a serve. Dodin received medical treatment for her ankle and knee for several minutes. She limped back to her chair before deciding not to play on.

“She played really well, she fought for every point and it was a really tough match. I hope she will get better soon,” said Sabalenka, who won the opening set from a break down.

Sabalenka will play Barbora Krejcikova for a place in Sunday’s final, while the second-seeded Elise Mertens will take on Ekaterina Alexandrova in the other semifinal.

The 11th-ranked Sabalenka, who won in Doha and Ostrava, remained on course for her third title of the year and eighth overall.

She could join Simona Halep as the only player with three WTA titles in the shortened 2020 season.

Earlier, Krejcikova advanced to her first semifinal in three years by winning eight of the last nine games against Aliaksandra Sasnovich for a 6-3, 6-1 win.

Mertens earned her record-extending 33rd match win of the season by beating Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-1.

Alexandrova, who reached her first career final here two years ago, eased past French Open semifinalist Nadia Podoroska 6-2, 6-1.

The Austrian tournament is the last WTA event of the year.