Sharapova retires with injury, Sabalenka reaches semifinals

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after scoring a point against opponent Wang Xinyu of China during their match in the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Sharapova reached the quarterfinals of the Shenzhen Open on Wednesday after Chinese teenager Wang Xinyu retired in the second set with cramps. (Mao Siqian/Xinhua via AP)

SHENZHEN, China — Maria Sharapova retired from her match at the Shenzhen Open with an injury on Friday, giving top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka a spot in the tournament's semifinals.

The fifth-seeded Sharapova was trailing 6-1, 4-2 when she stopped because of a left thigh injury.

Sharapova received off-court medical treatment between the two sets.

"I think we both played well and then she got injured," Sabalenka said. "Hopefully she will get well soon."

Sabalenka will next face Wang Yafan, who beat qualifier Monica Niculescu 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1.

"I will do my best in the season to get to the finals here," Sabalenka said. "Last year I was so close, and so upset in the beginning when I did not make it, but this year I'm going to do my best, even better than last year."

Alison Riske will face Vera Zvonareva in the other semifinal match.

Zvonareva defeated Veronika Kudermetova 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, while Riske beat Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-1.

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