Suarez Navarro beats defending champion Kerber in a battle of tired players

Carla Suarez NavarroCarla Suarez Navarro is through to the semifinals of the Aegon Classic Birmingham, having won three three-setters so far at the tournament, two of which took place today! The Spaniard's quarterfinal opponent was defending champion Angelique Kerber, who also had to play two matches on Friday, and their evening encounter was a close battle whose outcome remained uncertain until the last point.

The 15th-ranked Suarez Navarro, who had booked her place in the last eight with a 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(5) rollercoaster victory over Andrea Petkovic earlier today, converted all three of her break point opportunities in the first set against Kerber and grabbed the set even though Kerber managed to decrease the Spaniard's lead from 4-1 to 4-3 and stayed competitive throughout the set.

The world No.4 Kerber cruised through the second set and it looked like she could repeat the story of her first Friday's match, when she lost the first set to Daria Gavrilova 7-5, but then comfortably won the next two sets 6-2 6-2. Angelique KerberHowever, Suarez Navarro was a trickier opponent and fighting for every point in predominantly long rallies the Spaniard managed to squeeze past the German and take her crown off.

Luckily, the rain didn't stop this encounter, although some drops showed up midway through the third set.

After this 6-4 1-6 7-5 win, the sixth-seeded Suarez Navarro is set to face Madison Keys in the semifinals. (photos: Jimmie48)

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