AUCKLAND, New Zealand - A day after five seeds were sent home from the ASB Classic, only one was eliminated, but it was a big one, as Angelique Kerber downed Sabine Lisicki in quarterfinal action on Thursday.
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Kerber let a 3-0 first set lead slip away, but she broke Lisicki at 4-3 to regain control of the set, which she won, 6-4. With Kerber ahead but on serve at 4-3 in the second, Lisicki retired with an abdominal injury, giving Kerber her second career win over an event's No.1 seed.
"The injury actually happened in the warm-up. I felt it when I was serving," Lisicki said. "I'll see the doctor tomorrow to check out what's going on. I hope it's nothing too bad. I hope I recover quickly and that a couple of days off will be enough. I'm just hoping for the best."
"Everything was perfect. It was my day," said Pennetta, runner-up here in 2010. "I was playing really well today, not making mistakes and serving well. The first day I was feeling so bad, but every day since I've felt much better. I would like to play the same way tomorrow and am really happy to be in the semifinals."
The semifinal on the bottom half of the draw will see No.3 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova square off with Zheng Jie. Kuznetsova started off in a 4-2 hole, but only lost three games the rest of the way in her 64 63 defeat of Sara Errani. She is now 5-0 against the Italian and is into her first final four since Marbella last April. Zheng was a 62 63 victor over Lucie Hradecka. She will have her hands full against Kuznetsova on Friday, as she is 0-6 against her.