Sport24.co.za | Defending champ Pliskova stunned by Sabalenka

Eastbourne – Reigning champion Karolina Pliskova was surprisingly knocked out of the Eastbourne tournament on Thursday after squandering a three-game lead in the final set. 

It seemed Pliskova was on course to reach the semi-finals of the grass-court event that acts as a warm-up for Wimbledon but surrendered her advantage against 20-year-old Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka to lose 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5). 

Sabalenka will now meet 2008 champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the last four. 

The Pole, continuing her return from a back injury, defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 7-5. 

Meanwhile, top seed Caroline Wozniacki, the 2009 champion and last year’s beaten finalist, will face Angelique Kerber in Friday’s other semi-final. 

World number two Wozniacki, the Australian Open champion, beat eighth seed Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-3, while Kerber had a much tougher time before seeing off Russia’s Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/3). 

In the men’s event, British number one Kyle Edmund was unable to build on his win over compatriot Andy Murray. 

Despite winning the first set, Edmund lost 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 to world number 90 Mikhail Kukushkin. 

Two-time Wimbledon champion Murray is returning from a longstanding hip injury, with the Scot set to announce on Friday if he will compete in this year’s edition.

Eastbourne ATP and WTA results on Thursday (x denotes seeded player):

Men

Quarter-finals

Lukas Lacko (SVK) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3, 6-4

Marco Cecchinato (ITA x4) bt John Millman (AUS) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2

Mischa Zverev (GER) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN x3) 6-3, 6-3

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR x2) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1

Women

Quarter-finals

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x1) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS x8) 6-4, 6-3

Angelique Kerber (GER x4) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS x7) 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/3)

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x5) 6-2, 7-5

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) bt Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5)

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