CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, ranked No. 2 in the world, retired because of a viral illness during her semifinal match at the Volvo Car Open, sending American Sloane Stephens to the finals.
Stephens, ranked No. 25, won the first set 6-1 and was leading 3-0 in the second on Saturday when Kerber, the top seed in the tournament, retired.
A trainer came to courtside to examine Kerber after the second game of the set. She scored only one point in the third game before retiring.
The 23-year-old Stephens, seeded seventh, advances to her first career final on clay. She is seeking her third title of the year.
Stephens on Sunday meets the winner of Saturday's late match between Sara Errani of Italy and Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina.