Walkover win for Watson

  • Last Updated: June 19 2014, 20:48 BST

Heather Watson will take on Madison Keys for a place in the Aegon International final after benefiting from a walkover in Eastbourne.

Heather Watson: Through to the semi-finals
Heather Watson: Through to the semi-finals

Petra Kvitova pulled out ahead of their quarter-final, making Watson the first British player to reach the singles semi-finals since Jo Durie in 1982.

Keys was an impressive 6-2 6-1 winner over fellow American Lauren Davis and will now look to repeat her victory over Watson in the first round of Wimbledon last year.

Watson secured the best win of her career in the second round on Wednesday when she came from a set down to defeat world number 12 Flavia Pennetta.

That set up a clash with former Wimbledon champion Kvitova but the Czech decided not to take to the court because of a hamstring strain.

Kvitova's withdrawal means Watson is guaranteed 185 ranking points, which should see her climb significantly from her current mark of 70 whatever the result of Friday's match.

It will be a different Watson who goes into this match than her last clash with Keys, when she was still feeling the effects of glandular fever.

The 22-year-old said: "I see it as a big opportunity. But I think whoever I was playing I'd see it as a big opportunity. (I'm) in the semi-finals now, everyone wants it badly, and I do too."

The other semi-final will be between eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki and fifth seed Angelique Kerber.

Wozniacki has been having one of her best weeks of the season and she recovered from a set down to defeat Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-7 (7/9) 6-4 6-2.

Kerber had a much easier time of it in beating Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-1.

Top seed Richard Gasquet led the men's winners, the Frenchman defeating Martin Klizan 6-3 6-4 to reach the semi-finals.

There he will play Denis Istomin, who beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 (7/5) 6-2, while American Sam Querrey saw off Julien Benneteau 7-6 (7/5) 6-4.

Defending champion Feliciano Lopez was held up by rain, though, and will have to play Jeremy Chardy, as well as a potential semi-final, on Friday.