Coco Gauff reached her first WTA Tour semi-final on Friday with a stunning win over world number eight Kiki Bertens at the Linz Open.

The 15-year-old, in the main draw as a lucky loser after initially failing to qualify, produced another demonstration of her enormous potential by claiming her first victory against a top-10 player.

American Gauff, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon as the tournament's youngest Open era qualifier and then the third round at the US Open, saw off Dutch player Bertens 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 in an hour and 37 minutes.

She becomes the WTA Tour's youngest semi-finalist since 2004, when Nicole Vaidisova won in Tashkent.

The American, who will break into the top 100 as a result of her exploits in Austria, will face Andrea Petkovic on Saturday for a place in the final.

Petkovic beat Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4 6-1, the German reaching her first semi-final of 2019.

The other last-four clash will see Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova take on Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.

Alexandrova dispatched Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 6-4 and former French Open champion Ostapenko overcame Elena Rybakina 7-5 6-1.

Kiki Bertens overcame an early stumble to power through to the quarter-finals of the Linz Open on Thursday.

Top seed Bertens looked to be in trouble in the last 16 in Austria when she lost the first set to Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, who won the Tashkent Open a fortnight ago.

But Dutch world number eight Bertens, who had been broken in the opening game of the match, did not drop serve again and forced a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

Lucky loser Coco Gauff, playing a WTA Tour quarter-final for the first time, will be her opponent on Friday, having also reached the doubles semi-finals alongside fellow American Caty McNally on Thursday.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff secured her singles last-eight place on Wednesday when defeating Kateryna Kozlova.

Fourth seed Donna Vekic could not join Bertens in the next round, as the Croatian claimed the opening set but went down 3-6 6-1 6-2 to French opponent Kristina Mladenovic.

This was the pair's third meeting in 2019 and, having lost the first two, Mladenovic finally took flight.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was another on the wrong end of an upset as the ninth-seeded Russian similarly let an early lead slip, beaten 2-6 6-2 6-4 by Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova.

Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova showed greater spirit after being pegged back, seeing off German Laura Siegemund in three, while French player Alize Cornet retired as she trailed Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the second set.

Coco Gauff reached her first WTA Tour quarter-final when Kateryna Kozlova retired in the final set of their Linz Open contest on Wednesday and could face top seed Kiki Bertens in the last eight.

Gauff, a lucky loser following Maria Sakkari's withdrawal, was leading 4-6 6-4 2-0 when her Ukrainian opponent was unable to continue due to a leg injury.

The 15-year-old American won four of the next five games from a break down at 3-2 in the second set with great fighting spirit and is set to move into the top 100 after her passage in the quarter-finals was secured.

Gauff is the youngest player to move into the last eight of a WTA event since Sesil Karatancheva back in 2005.

The teenage prodigy said: "It's been a goal of mine. In January of this year, I sent a message to my friend saying I wanted to finish Top 100, and at the time I was ranked, like, 800, so it was a far-fetched goal, but I'm glad that I was able to accomplish it.

"My other goal was to get in the main draw of two grand slams, and that happened, so I'm glad that I accomplished everything that I wanted this year."

Bertens, in contention to feature in the WTA Finals, saw off Misaki Doi 6-4 7-5 to set up a second-round meeting with Alison Van Uytvanck.

The world number eight broke twice in each set to stay in the hunt for a third title of the year as she bids to secure a place in the season-ending tournament in Shenzhen.

Andrea Petkovic won an all-German second-round match against fifth seed Julia Goerges 7-6 (7-2) 6-0, while Elena Rybakina denied Anna-Lena Friedsam a place in the quarter-finals.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Jelena Ostapenko and Ekaterina Alexandrova were first-round winners on day three.

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu's incredible unbeaten run continued as she fought past Elise Mertens at the China Open.

In a rematch of their Flushing Meadows quarter-final, Andreescu survived a second-set fightback from the Belgian to progress to the last 16 in Beijing.

World number one Ashleigh Barty went the distance with Zheng Saisai but powered through in the third set to keep her hopes alive.

Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens also progressed along with Elina Svitolina, but Madison Keys was on the wrong end of a stunning turnaround from fellow American Jennifer Brady.

 

ANDREESCU TRIUMPHS IN TOUGH BATTLE

Andreescu trailed 4-1 in the second set with Mertens, who had a set point to force a decider at 5-4.

However, Andreescu saved that before breaking back to force a tie-break, which she edged to complete a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) triumph.

Andreescu is unbeaten in 16 matches and has not lost a completed contest since March.

"Today was more of a battle mentally with myself than anything," the 19-year-old said. "I felt like I was getting very down on myself.

"I expect a lot from myself in general, but I have to realise not everything is going to go the way I want it to."


BRADY TURNS TABLES ON KEYS

Brady trailed by a set and a break against former US Open finalist Keys, but the qualifier produced a remarkable comeback to claim her fourth top-20 win of the season.

She came through 2-6 6-4 6-4 after one hour and 56 minutes, but acknowledged fortune played a significant role in her victory, which sets up a third-round clash with Andreescu.

 "I was just letting her dictate and take control and be the one in charge," said Brady. "I feel like I got a bit lucky with a few points here and there and was able to turn around the match.

"I think it was just mentally, being able to stay in there and fight. Not give in, not look at the score, just stay positive and stay within myself. Look to play my game and be more aggressive, knowing that if I stay in there, things can happen. And they did. I was happy they did."


50 NOT OUT FOR BARTY!

A former cricketer in the Big Bash League, Barty reached her half-century for 2019 as she claimed her 50th win of the year on Wednesday.

She did so with a display of grit that would have been well suited to a long spell at the crease, winning 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes.

The Australian becomes the second woman to reach 50 wins on Tour this year, drawing level with Karolina Pliskova.

Barty will next face Kvitova after the two-time Wimbledon champion overcame Belinda Bencic, while Bertens' reward for beating Polona Hercog is a match with Svitolina, whose three-set win over Sofia Kenin finished well after midnight.

Kiki Bertens, Sloane Stephens and Donna Vekic were dealt shock defeats in the second round of the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday.

The three seeded players came up short to blow the draw wide open, although former world number one and home favourite Naomi Osaka remains in the competition.

Dutch star Bertens was the second seed but failed to recover from a dismal start against 2017 finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and went down 6-1 7-5 to the Russian in the late match on centre court.

American Stephens, the third seed, had also earlier been humbled as she was knocked out by Camila Giorgi.

The Italian was a 6-0 6-3 winner and faces Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals.

"It was a good match, for sure, and I was able to play my game, show off my attacking style and be consistent," said Italian Giorgi, who lost to Osaka in the last four in 2018.

Giorgi told the WTA's website: "When I play, I always focus on myself. I only made a few mistakes. That's always been my way, ever since I was little, to attack, to go forward, to put the pressure on. This surface suits my game, too."

Wildcard Misaki Doi joined fellow Japanese player Osaka - who went through on Wednesday - in the last eight by beating Vekic, another beaten semi-finalist 12 months ago.

Doi, who is also through to the doubles semi-finals, reached the Japan Women's Open final last week and is maintaining a bid to go a step further this time.

She defeated Croatian Vekic 7-6 (7-5) 6-3, while Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva at least avoided an upset, crushing Russian player Varvara Flink 6-1 6-1 to set up a clash with Osaka on Friday.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka was forced to dig deep in her first-round match, while former winner Sloane Stephens was a surprise casualty in New York.

Returning to the scene of her maiden grand slam title, world number one Osaka outlasted Anna Blinkova in three sets on Tuesday.

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, former world number one Caroline Wozniacki and 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff also reached round two, but Stephens headlined the exits.

 

OSAKA OVERCOMES NERVES IN NEW YORK OPENER

Top seed Osaka edged unseeded opponent Blinkova 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in an unconvincing display at Flushing Meadows.

Osaka was not at her best, tallying 50 unforced errors, but the two-time grand slam champion still managed to book a second-round date with Magda Linette.

"I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my life," Osaka said during her on-court interview. "I don't think I ever really found my rhythm, but I just fought as hard as I can."

 

HALEP HANDLES LUCKY LOSER

Romanian star and fourth seed Halep prevailed 6-3 3-6 6-2 against lucky loser Nicole Gibbs.

Halep produced when it mattered most as she avoided becoming only the second player in the Open Era to follow up victory at Wimbledon with a first-round loss in New York.

Next up for Halep is qualifier Taylor Townsend, who rallied past Kateryna Kozlova 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Wozniacki, meanwhile, came from a set down to see off Wang Yafan 1-6 7-5 6-3 in an opening-round scare.

Runner-up in 2009 and 2014, 19th seed Wozniacki meets Danielle Collins in the second round after the 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist defeated Polona Hercog 6-3 4-6 6-4.

 

GAUFF'S STAR CONTINUES TO SHINE

The fairytale story of Wimbledon, Gauff fought past fellow teenager Anastasia Potapova 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Gauff rose to stardom at Wimbledon earlier this year, making the fourth round at the All England Club.

The American sensation emerged triumphant in her main-draw debut at her home major on Tuesday thanks to seven breaks of serve.

"It was crazy," said Gauff, who will play qualifier Timea Babos after 28th seed Carla Suarez Navarro retired at the end of the first set. "Obviously I was nervous going out on the court. It's such a big court. Then my home slam, so I wanted to do well. The crowd really helped me the whole match. Like, it was really a great atmosphere to play in and a great experience for me."

 

KALINSKAYA SLAYS SLOANE

There was a major upset in New York, where 2017 champion Stephens was sensationally eliminated 6-3 6-4 by qualifier Anna Kalinskaya.

Stephens hoped to enjoy another deep run at Flushing Meadows after reuniting with long-time coach Kamau Murray but Kalinskaya had other plans for the 11th seed.

Two-time grand slam winner and 24th seed Garbine Muguruza also fell at the first hurdle, knocked out 2-6 6-1 6-3 by Alison Riske.

Svetlana Kuznetsova – the 2004 champion – went down 7-5 6-2 to Kristie Ahn, while two-time finalist and former world number one Victoria Azarenka lost 3-6 6-3 6-4 to ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Ashleigh Barty and Sloane Stephens bowed out of the Rogers Cup on a day of upsets in Toronto on Tuesday.

World number one Barty and last year's runner-up Stephens were two of five seeds to fall at the WTA Premier tournament in Canada.

While that pair departed in the second round, Madison Keys, Aryna Sabalenka and Anastasija Sevastova were first-round losers.

 

BARTY, STEPHENS BOW OUT

In action for the first time since Wimbledon, Barty suffered a shock 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 loss to American Sofia Kenin.

The Australian is now at risk of losing her top ranking, with Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova having the chance to return to number one.

The only way Barty will remain number one is if Osaka loses her opening match and Pliskova fails to reach the semi-finals.

Runner-up last year, Stephens went down to qualifier Marie Bouzkova 6-2 7-5 for her third straight loss.

SEEDS SLIP UP

Keys almost got through her opener, but eventually lost to Donna Vekic 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) after squandering three match points.

The American, runner-up in 2016, served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, only to give up a 40-0 lead before bowing out.

Sabalenka was also edged, going down to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6 6-3 7-5.

Sevastova, the 10th seed, was beaten by China's Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, with Kiki Bertens the only seed to progress.

Bertens thrashed qualifier Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-2 6-1 in just over an hour.

 

AZARENKA POWERS THROUGH, VENUS DEPARTS

Victoria Azarenka booked her spot in the second round thanks to a 6-2 6-2 victory over Camila Giorgi.

The 2014 runner-up Venus Williams, meanwhile, was well beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 6-2.

In an all-Canadian clash, Bianca Andreescu got the better of wildcard Eugenie Bouchard 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Jil Teichmann stunned world number five Kiki Bertens to win the Palermo International in straight sets on Sunday.

Teichmann was ranked outside the top 140 at the start of the season but continued her rise with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 defeat of top seed Bertens in Sicily.

The eighth seed from Switzerland claimed her first victory over a top-10 opponent to secure a second WTA Tour title of the year.

World number 82 Teichmann went a break up three times in the opening set and the battling Bertens saved three set points before forcing a tie-break.

Bertens fell behind after Teichmann secured three mini-breaks to one for the Dutchwoman and the left-hander maintained her momentum in the second set.

Teichmann continued to pile the pressure on Bertens, breaking twice to put herself well on course for the title and serving out the match to love.

The 22-year-old and Bertens are among only seven women to have won more than one singles title this year.

Kiki Bertens will face Jil Teichmann in the Palermo International final after the top seed overcame Paula Badosa in straight sets on Saturday.

The world number five, bidding to win a third title of the year, moved into the championship match with a 6-1 7-5 defeat of the unseeded Spaniard.

Bertens needed eight match points to end Badosa's resistance, advancing despite a first-serve percentage of only 49.

The Dutchwoman broke twice in a one-sided first set and three times in the second, failing to consolidate on two occasions as she made hard work of sending the 119-ranked Badosa packing.

Teichmann, the eighth seed, coasted to a 6-3 6-1 thrashing of Liudmila Samsonova.

The world number 82 won her maiden WTA title in Prague in May and will need to pull off a big upset to double her tally.

Top seed Anastasija Sevastova will face the unheralded Katarzyna Kawa in the inaugural Baltic Open final.

Latvian Sevastova saw off Anastasia Potapova 6-4 6-2 in her homeland and will be a resounding favourite to beat WTA main-draw debutant Kawa, who got past Bernarda Pera 6-2 6-3 in Jurmala.

 

Kiki Bertens moved within one victory of the WTA Palermo Open final after outlasting Jasmine Paolini.

Bertens – the top seed – battled to a 6-4 1-6 6-1 win over her Italian opponent as she reached the semi-finals in Sicily on Friday.

World number five Bertens needed almost two hours to seal her spot in the final four, with the match finishing past 01:00am (local time).

Next up for Bertens is Spaniard Paula Badosa who made light work of Arantxa Rus 6-2 6-1.

Russian lucky loser Liudmila Samsonova stunned seventh seed Fiona Ferro in a marathon 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-4 victory, while eighth seed Jil Teichmann advanced after Anna-Lena Friedsam retired due to injury when trailing 6-0 1-0.

At the Baltic Open, sixth seed Anastasia Potapova reached the semi-finals with a 6-4 0-6 6-4 win over Patricia Maria Tig.

Top seed and home favourite Anastasija Sevastova was too good for Irina Bara 7-6 (7-3) 6-2, Katarzyna Kawa beat Chloe Paquet 6-2 6-2 and Bernarda Pera trumped Nina Stojanovic 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Palermo Open top seed Kiki Bertens made light work of Aleksandra Krunic to reach the quarter-finals in Sicily.

After a disappointing performance at Wimbledon, world number five Bertens has shrugged off her poor form so far in Palermo, and had little trouble in claiming a last-eight spot with a 6-3 6-1 win on Thursday.

Third seed Viktoria Kuzmova was unable to join her, though, as she was ousted by world number 130 Arantxa Rus.

Rus beat the Slovakian 6-4 6-4, breaking Kuzmova six times for her first win over a top-50 opponent this year.

She will now face Paula Badosa, after the Spaniard overcame Fanny Stollar in straight sets.

Meanwhile, Anastasia Potapova had to see off a fightback from Latvian wildcard Diana Marcinkevica in the Baltic Open.

Teenager Potapova took the first set in just 22 minutes, though Marcinkevica restored parity before the sixth seed secured the win in the decider.

Bernarda Pera, Nina Stojanovic and Irina Bara - who will face top seed and world number 11 Anastasija Sevastova in the last eight - also progressed in Jurmala.

Serena Williams had the support of Meghan Markle on Thursday and revealed her hope to have all of Britain behind her when she plays in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray.

Wimbledon great Williams defeated teenager Kaja Juvan in three sets at the All England Club, with the Duchess of Sussex watching on No. 1 Court.

"It's always exciting when she comes out to watch and support the tennis," Williams said of her friend. "I was happy."

Markle's son, Archie, will be christened on Saturday but Williams can at least offer a reasonable excuse for why she will be absent.

"I'm working on Saturday," she joked. "Yeah, so she understands work."

Before then, however, Williams will link up with Murray in mixed doubles action on Friday - and believes she may receive even greater backing when partnering the home favourite.

"Actually I'm curious," the American said. "I'm going to be so happy when I go out there, it's going to be really cool. That's the real reason I wanted to play with Andy."

Elsewhere on Thursday, defending champion Angelique Kerber crashed out to Lauren Davis. Teenager Amanda Anisimova also lost, beaten by Magda Linette.

Top seed Ashleigh Barty got through, though, along with Sloane Stephens and Belinda Bencic.

 

DAVIS: 'BETTER THAN IT LOOKS'

Kerber's humiliation in defeat to Davis was capped by the American's heavy strapping on her knee, shoulder and, following a first-set slip, ankle.

But Davis insisted she is physically fit despite hobbling through much of her stunning defeat of the 2018 winner.

"I feel good. Tape is a lot better than it looks," she said. "It's just a little soreness with my meniscus on my left side. It's really just prevention at this point, especially on the grass where it can be slippery."

 

KVITOVA, KIKI BATTLE BACK

Petra Kvitova was forced out of the French Open with a forearm injury and looked as though she might be heading home early from Wimbledon, too, as she trailed 5-3 in the first and then saw opponent Kristina Mladenovic forge three set points.

While two-time champion Kvitova battled back to win in straight sets, she acknowledged there are still issues with her injury.

"I can't say it's better, I can't say it's worse," she said. "I'm feeling everything on my body. It's not really surprising.

"We'll see how that will look like tomorrow. I really had a tough match today with fast serves flying to me."

Kiki Bertens was also given a scare but came back from the brink of defeat to beat Taylor Townsend 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

 

KONTA CONTINUES BRITISH BID

Both British players in action on the WTA Tour won on Thursday, with Johanna Konta and Harriet Dart each progressing.

French Open semi-finalist Konta brushed aside Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-4 and said: "I think for any player who is getting to the third round of a grand slam, that's always a massive achievement. It's a massive achievement for me.

"So I'm really pleased for [the other British players] and myself, for us to be still in the tournament, still going at it."

Dart, meanwhile, was on target in a deciding set to see off Beatriz Haddad Maia and will next face Barty.

Former champions Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sharapova crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round, but Serena Williams said she is "feeling good" after starting with a win on day two.

There will be no repeat of Muguruza's 2017 triumph at the All England Club after the Spaniard was beaten 6-4 6-4 by 121-ranked Brazilian outsider Beatriz Haddad Maia on Tuesday.

Sharapova, the 2004 champion, was trailing Pauline Parmentier 5-0 in the final set when the five-time grand slam winner retired due to a left forearm injury.

Williams made hard work of beating outsider Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-2 7-5 on Centre Court before it was confirmed she will partner Andy Murray in the mixed doubles at SW19.

Top seed Ashleigh Barty made light work of defeating Zheng Saisai 6-4 6-2, while defending champion Angelique Kerber, Kiki Bertens, Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova were among the other seeds to progress.

 

SERENA: I'M FEELING GOOD THAT I CAN WALK

Williams was not moving freely in a straight-sets defeat of world number 161 Gatto-Monticone.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion has been troubled by her left knee, but said she is happy with her condition after booking a meeting with Kaja Juvan.

"It's the best I've felt since February," the American great declared. “She [Gatto-Monticone] never gave up and it's good for me to play matches like this when I haven't had a ton of matches this year. I'm feeling good that I can actually walk. I'm better now. It's fine."

 

BARTY RELIEVED TO PASS 'TRICKY' TEST

Barty did not play at Eastbourne last week due to an arm injury but looked untroubled against Zheng as the world number one eyes back-to-back grand slams after winning her first at the French Open.

The Australian won 86 per cent of points on her first serve and broke four times on No.1 Court, sealing a showdown with Alison Van Uytvanck.

"I think [it was] a very tricky opponent to start off with. [I'm] Very happy with the way we were able to work our way into the match. It took some time to adjust to conditions and a different court," said Barty.

 

NERVY KERBER MASTERS MARIA

Fifth seed Kerber returned to Centre Court to get past fellow German Tatjana Maria 12 months after winning the tournament for the first time.

Kerber said: "I was really nervous, to be honest, because of course to going out there as the defending champion, it was really special. Walking on the Centre Court, playing there again. A lot of emotions, a lot of memories.

"But I was enjoying it. I was really enjoying the match. I was enjoying the points and the crowd. It was a really, yeah, nice match, but of course with a lot of nerves at the beginning."

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