AAP Tennis

Aussie Cabrera’s upset Hobart run ended

By AAP Newswire

Australian wildcard Lizette Cabrera's run of upsets at the Hobart International has been ended by big-hitting third seed Elena Rybakina.

Cabrera, ranked No.129, had her moments against the 20-year-old Rybakina but was outlasted 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (7-2) 7-5 in a gruelling quarter-final on Thursday night.

Cabrera, 22, had eliminated the higher-ranked Caroline Garcia and Kristyna Pliskova on her way to the third WTA quarter-final of her career.

Rybakina will meet Heather Watson on Friday for a place in the final after the British qualifier stunned top seed and world No.17 Elise Mertens 6-7 (7-5) 6-4 7-5.

Watson played above her world ranking of 101 in a match that spanned more than three and a half hours and included several rain delays.

"What a battle. I thought it was a big test against a top player and one I'd never beaten before," Watson, the 2015 Hobart winner, said.

Earlier, two-time grand slam winner Garbine Muguruza withdrew from the tournament with a viral illness.

She was scheduled to meet Russian Veronika Kudermetova but pulled the pin several hours prior.

The world No.34, has four days to recover before Monday's Australian Open, where she'll meet a qualifier in the first round.

"I'm really sad that I had to withdraw from the Hobart International," the 2016 French Open winner and 2017 Wimbledon champion said.

"It's such a special tournament for me and it's been great to return again this year. Thanks to all the wonderful fans and hopefully I can be back."

Muguruza, desperate to regain the form that saw her reach world No.1 in 2017, made the semi-finals of China's Shenzhen Open to begin the year.

Muguruza had battled through a tough second round against Ons Jabeur in Hobart, the tournament she won six years ago.

Kudermetova progressed directly to the semi-finals, where she'll meet fourth seed Zhang Shuai who beat American Lauren Davis 6-1 6-4.