Petra Kvitova bounced back from a stuttering start to overcome in-form Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 4-2 when the Slovak star retired with a left abdominal injury.
The Czech ace was outplayed initially, losing the opening three games against rejuvenated Hantuchova, but gathered her nerves to work her way back into an intriguing tie.
With Hantuchova’s overpowering serve working to her advantage and a string of solid groundstrokes, Kvitova played a cagey game and fought back to trail 4-3 before the Slovak ace required a treatment break for an injury flare-up.
On her return the world #8 bounced back and did well to force a tie-break, but the pair were well matched and it took a marathon 11-9 result to hand Kvitova the opening set.
With Hantuchova’s movement fast deteriorating it came as no surprise that the #5 seed dominated play and dictated from the baseline with occasion forays to the net to put away volleys and smashes.
Much to the disappointment of the enthusiastic Court 1 crowd, Hantuchova, playing her first back-to-back semi-finals for many years, had little choice but to wave the white flag and bow out graciously with her injury. Kvitova, the highest ranked player in the final four, will need to start well in this afternoon’s final if she is claim the Eastbourne title on her Devonshire Park debut.