Garbiñe Muguruza took her place in the Aegon Classic semifinals after CoCo Vandeweghe was forced to retire due to an ankle injury.
WTA Staff

BIRMINGHAM, Great Britain - Garbiñe Muguruza and CoCo Vandeweghe split sets in their Aegon Classic quarterfinal before the American was forced to retire due to a right ankle injury, 4-6, 6-4, ret.

"I know what it feels like to retire," Muguruza said during her on-court interview. "It’s very frustrating because she was playing a great match. It’s sad for it to end like this. What can I say?"

Muguruza and Vandeweghe were playing for the first time since the Australian Open, where Vandeweghe breezed past the Spaniard en route to the semifinals. The unseeded American appeared poised for a repeat when she nabbed the first break of the match.

Former French Open champion Muguruza immediately broke back, but couldn't hold onto her serve in a crucial tenth game, putting herself a set from defeat.

Rebounding in style, the No.6 seed raced out to a 5-2 lead in the second set, eventually serving it out on her second opportunity to force a third.

"I knew if I kept fighting I was going to have my chance. I kept concentrated on the court and, well, that’s it!"

As Muguruza was working her way back into the match, Vandeweghe took a tumble on her right ankle, turning it while going for a shot and falling to the ground. By the time the final set got underway, the American found herself too compromised to continue, retiring from the encounter two points in.

"The court here is tricky to move on, and she’s such a powerful player. I’ve twisted my ankles and have had blisters, so it’s tough to play with those."

"I just tried to don't think about anything, just keep playing my game," she added in her post-match press conference. "I think was the best option, not to think that maybe the other is one injured or something or not 100 percent. So I just tried to stay aggressive, tried to be very concentrated on the serve. I didn't even realize she was going to retire. I saw her in the net. I was like really keep fighting and keep playing."

In all, Muguruza maintained another impressive performance off the ground, striking 22 winners to 11 unforced errors; Vandeweghe was equally emphatic with 27 winners to 15 errors and each broke serve three times, though Muguruza was far more efficient in her conversion rate - three for five vs three for 11.

Standing between the former World No.2 and a spot in her first final since winning her maiden major title will be Ashleigh Barty, the winner of all-unseeded affair when Camila Giorgi was forced to retire trailing 5-2 in the first set.

"I played Barty yesterday in doubles, so that gives me an idea, a little bit. She's just super talented. That's what I felt in the doubles."