Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka eased into the Silicon Valley Classic quarter-finals on a good day for the seeds.

Svitolina, the top seed at the WTA Premier event in San Jose, was untroubled by Daria Kasatkina in a 6-3 6-1 victory on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian is enjoying another fine year and her last-eight clash with Maria Sakkari will mark her sixth quarter-final of 2019 and she has won four of the previous five.

Sakkari, the seventh seed, was tested before getting past qualifier Mayo Hibi 4-6 6-4 6-2 at the hard-court tournament in California.

The second-seeded Sabalenka ended Coco Vandeweghe's first tournament of the year courtesy of a 6-3 6-3 victory.

Former world number nine Vandeweghe was making her return from ankle and foot injuries.

It was four from four for the seeds, with Carla Suarez Navarro beating Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3-6 6-1 6-2.

At the Citi Open, the only two seeds in action – Sofia Kenin and Monica Puig – departed.

Kenin went down to fellow American Lauren Davis 5-7 6-3 6-4 and Puig lost to qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Kristina Mladenovic edged 17-year-old wildcard Hailey Baptiste 6-4 4-6 6-3 and Jessica Pegula overcame Iga Swiatek 5-7 6-4 6-1.

Elina Svitolina suffered an error-strewn loss in the first round of the Birmingham Classic, while Karolina Pliskova was among the seeds to advance.

World number seven Svitolina was beaten 6-3 3-6 6-4 by Margarita Gasparyan, the Ukrainian's cause not helped by five double faults and 15 unforced errors in the opening set in her first match since losing in the last 32 at the French Open.

Third seed Pliskova experienced no such problems as the wildcard did not face a break point in seeing off Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-4, the Czech recording her 30th victory of 2019, the third-most among those on the WTA Tour.

Johanna Konta, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, also advanced courtesy of a 6-4 6-2 success over Anett Kontaveit.

Yet fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka was ousted as Hsieh Su-wei beat a top-10 player for the fourth time this season.

Hsieh, who was a break down in the decider, won 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-1) to set up a second-round clash with her doubles partner Barbora Strycova.

Kiki Bertens will face teenage qualifier Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals on home soil after winning twice at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships on Friday.

Bertens finished off Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3 before returning later in the day to see off Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-3 6-3 in 's-Hertogenbosch.

The top seed took just 70 minutes to account for Vikhlyantseva, winning 82 per cent of points on her powerful first serve and making the Russian pay for 30 unforced errors.

World number four Bertens retired from the French Open due to illness but could give herself the perfect tonic this weekend by making a glorious start to the grass-court season.

Kazakhstan's Rybakina defeated Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 6-4, while Alison Riske and Veronika Kudermetova will contest the other semi-final after beating Ekaterina Alexandrova and Greet Minnen respectively.

Donna Vekic downed Kristina Mladenovic to reach the last four of the Nottingham Open in a contest that was played on grass and then indoors.

Vekic and doubles world number one Mladenovic had to complete their match inside on a hard court due to more rain and it was the second seed who prevailed 7-5 6-4.

The Croatian will face Tatjana Maria - a straight-sets victor over Ajla Tomljanovic - while top seed Caroline Garcia battled past Elena-Gabriela Ruse in three sets and will take on Jennifer Brady, a 7-5 6-3 winner against fourth seed Maria Sakkari.

 

Kiki Bertens was on course for the quarter-finals of the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships when play was suspended and Caroline Garcia progressed in Nottingham after being forced indoors due to rain.

World number four Bertens led 7-5 4-3 in 's-Hertogenbosch on Thursday when inclement weather prevented her from finishing a second-round encounter with Arantxa Rus.

Wildcard Rus stormed into a 5-1 lead in the opening set, but fellow Dutchwoman Bertens dug herself out of a huge hole by winning six games in a row in their homeland.

Top seed Bertens, who withdrew from the French Open due to illness, broke straight back after failing to hold in the opening game of the second set and they were on serve when the rain returned.

Ekaterina Alexandrova and Elena Rybakina were 6-3 6-4 winners over Ysaline Bonaventure and Alison Van Uytvanck respectively, while Veronika Kudermetova got past Destanee Aiava in straight sets.

Top seed Garcia moved into the quarter-finals of the Nottingham Open with a 6-3 6-1 thrashing of British wildcard Maia Lumsden.

Matches were moved to an indoor hardcourt facility with no play possible on the grass due to poor weather, with second seed Donna Vekic hammering Chloe Paquet 6-1 6-2.

Maria Sakkari, Kristina Mladenovic, Ajla Tomljanovic and Tatjana Maria also advanced along with Jennifer Brady and Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

Kristina Mladenovic moved into the Nottingham Open second round, while former champion Donna Vekic battled through on Wednesday.

Mladenovic, coming off a French Open doubles success, was too good for qualifier Magdalena Frech 7-5 6-2 at the WTA International tournament.

The eighth seed managed to break five times in her win, setting up a last-16 meeting with Australian Astra Sharma.

Vekic, the 2017 champion, overcame Dalila Jakupovic 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 in just under two hours.

After a second-set hiccup, the Croatian rushed through the third set, losing just 10 points to advance from a match moved indoors due to persistent rain in Nottingham.

On what was a good day for the seeds, Caroline Garcia thrashed Naiktha Bains 6-1 6-2, Maria Sakkari brushed past Heather Watson and Ajla Tomljanovic beat qualifier Danielle Lao.

At the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in 's-Hertogenbosch, two-time runner-up Kirsten Flipkens upset fourth seed Lesia Tsurenko 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 in the second round.

There were also wins for qualifier Greet Minnen and Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Rafael Nadal claimed his 12th French Open title as this year's tournament at Roland Garros came to an exhilarating conclusion.

The record-breaking crown for Nadal came following a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 triumph over Dominic Thiem in a repeat of last year's final.

With the French Open reaching its denouement, Omnisport's man on the ground Tom Webber delivers the final entry from his daily diary.

 

DECKING OUT THE CONCOURSE

Unfortunately, not everyone could get a seat on Chatrier for Sunday's main event.

The organisers at Roland Garros did their best to try to encourage people to hang around, though.

Deck chairs lined the walkway up to Court Suzanne-Lenglen, with huge numbers of attendees opting to take in the match on one of the big screens.

To be fair, they looked pretty comfortable.

 

AN AWKWARD EVENING

Have you ever been in a situation where your partner really wants to do something but you really don't?

That could very well be the case for Thiem and his girlfriend Kristina Mladenovic on Sunday.

While Thiem suffered defeat to Nadal, his girlfriend triumphed in the women's doubles.

It's the second time Mladenovic has claimed the honour as she and Timea Babos saw off Ying-Ying Duan and Zheng Saisai 6-2 6-3 on Chatrier.

The victory means the Frenchwoman will move to the top of the WTA's doubles rankings – not a bad day's work!

I'm not sure Thiem will be in the same mood for celebrating, though.

 

BARTY BACK FOR MORE

A day after clinching her first major title, Ashleigh Barty was back at Roland Garros for a photo shoot with her new piece of silverware.

The Australian posed in front of the clay wall outside for Chatrier and did her best to respond to an inordinate number of shouts from photographers commanding that she look at them.

But when you're holding La Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen, you're probably happy to put up with that for a few short minutes.

 

AU REVOIR, BULLRING

Sunday was the final time the French Open will be contested with the iconic Court No. 1 still standing.

The stadium will be taken down for the redevelopment of the Mousquetaires square ahead of the 2020 edition.

It was a great place to watch some tennis, but the facilities had certainly not aged well.

Walking through the access tunnel to the media seats almost felt like visiting a prison! (Not that I have).

Naomi Osaka's withdrawal preceded a fine birthday present for Johanna Konta, while there were three-set quarter-final wins for Karolina Pliskova and Maria Sakkari at the Internazionali d'Italia.

Top seed Osaka was forced to pull out in Rome ahead of her last-eight clash with Kiki Bertens due to a hand injury, opening up the draw for the remaining players.

Konta celebrated turning 28 in style by winning a three-setter with Marketa Vondrousova, while Pliskova also lasted the distance against Victoria Azarenka to seal a landmark win.

And Sakkari roared back against Kristina Mladenovic to maintain her hopes of triumphing at the WTA Premier event.

 

HAPPY BIRTH-CLAY, JO…

Konta is enjoying a career resurgence. The Briton reached a first final in almost 12 months in Rabat a fortnight ago, while she is now in her biggest semi since Wimbledon in 2017.

It was a back-and-forth match against Vondrousova, but ultimately Konta ran out a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victor.

Before this year, Konta had never managed to win three main-draw matches on clay in a given season but she now faces Bertens for a place in the final.

500 NOT OUT FOR PLISKOVA

In a battle between two former world number ones, Pliskova ousted Azarenka 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2 for her 500th career victory.

Pliskova, this season's leader in three-set wins, was beaten by the same opponent in Stuttgart last month but has now levelled their head-to-head meetings at 4-4.

"I think the last couple years I know I'm playing a lot of three-setters," said Pliskova. 

"I'm not panicking if I lose first set or even the second. I'm just there. I keep fighting. I feel quite confident coming to the third set, because I know I won quite a lot in last couple of years."

Mladenovic seemed destined for the semis after taking the first set against Sakkari, but the Greek roared back to triumph 5-7 6-3 6-0.

Petra Kvitova was encouraged by the way she was able to "fight it out" to beat Kristina Mladenovic, while Sloane Stephens knocked Victoria Azarenka out of the Madrid Open on Monday.

Second seed Kvitova - bidding to become the first woman to win a WTA Premier Mandatory tournament four times - had to dig deep for a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory on Court Manolo Santana.

Stephens was another leading to contender to advance at the Caja Magica, seeing off Azarenka 6-4 2-6 6-2 to reach the last 16.

Ashleigh Barty was also taken the distance, getting past Danielle Collins 6-1 1-6 6-1 as the Australian eyes back-to-back titles following her Miami Open triumph.

Kiki Bertens overcame Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 6-3, while Anastasija Sevastova, Yulia Putintseva, Viktoria Kuzmova and Belinda Bencic started the week with victories. 

 

 

KVITOVA SHOWS GRIT IN PURSUIT OF HISTORY

Kvitova made 38 unforced errors to 31 winners in an unconvincing performance, but battled to get through in straight sets after coming under pressure from Mladenovic in the second.

The defending champion, on a high after winning the Stuttgart Open, said: "I'm trying to play well on all surfaces which I think is really showing and it was a pretty difficult match,

"I fought hard in the end and that is what is counting. The clay and the conditions here are a bit different compared to other venues, so I always needed time to fight it out."

Sorana Cirstea or Caroline Garcia will be Kvitova's third-round opponent.

 

STEPHENS WINS BATTLE OF MAJOR CHAMPIONS

Stephens stretched her winning streak against Azarenka to four matches, having lost the first three against the two-time major champion. 

The 2017 US Open champion did not face a break point in the first set, but was broken twice in the second.

Stephens pulled away in the decider, winning four games in a row to set up a meeting with Zheng Saisai or Alize Cornet.

 

BARTY WINNING RUN INTO DOUBLE FIGURES

Barty stretched her sequence of victories to 10 matches, but Collins threatened to bring her back down to earth in the Spanish capital.

The ninth seed struck only 18 winners and made just 19 unforced errors in a contest which swung one way, then the other.

Barty will face Putintseva in her third-round match in Madrid after the Kazakh got past Pauline Parmentier, conqueror of Elina Svitolina in the opening round.

Petra Kvitova battled her way into the third round of the Madrid Open with a straight-sets win over Kristina Mladenovic.

The defending champion was not at her best, but ground it out to come through 6-3 7-6 (7-5) on Monday and will face Sorana Cirstea or Caroline Garcia in the last 16.

Second seed Kvitova, bidding to become the first woman to win the same WTA Premier Mandatory tournament four times, made 38 unforced errors to 31 winners.

Kvitova's first-serve percentage was only 55 as she struggled to match her usual high standards, yet fended off Mladenovic after the Frenchwoman put her under pressure in a nervy second set.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, eyeing back-to-back titles after her Stuttgart Open triumph, started on the front foot and was rewarded with a 2-0 lead.

However, the three-time winner was outmanoeuvred in a swift riposte and she was made to wait before nudging in front again, leading 5-3 as Mladenovic continued to make sloppy mistakes.

That was enough for Kvitova to close out an opener that was low on quality and she quickly moved through the gears at the start of the second to break to love with a pair of smart returns.

Kvitova could not build on that platform and went long to level the set at 3-3, with Mladenovic capitalising on the Czech's service struggles.

An out-of-sorts Kvitova continued to rack up the errors, but secured a battling hold for a tie-break, which she won with a rasping backhand return to Mladenovic's feet after it had taken eight points for the first hold. 

Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic put their doubles differences aside to send France through to the Fed Cup final, with world number two Simona Halep unable to inspire Romania to victory in the deciding match.

A fifth rubber was needed for the semi-final after both nations won one singles matches each on Sunday, and Halep stepped up to play her first Fed Cup doubles match in two years due to an injury to Irina-Camelia Begu.

Halep and her partner Monica Niculescu won the first set but Garcia and Mladenovic, doubles winners at the 2016 French Open before an acrimonious split, fought back to seal a 5-7 6-3 7 6-4 success in their first match together in two and a half years.

France, into their sixth final and seeking their first Fed Cup title since 2003, will now travel to Australia after they also won 3-2, against Belarus, earlier on Sunday.

Halep, who had beaten Mladenovic in straight sets in the first singles rubber on Saturday, restored Romania's lead in the tie when she prevailed against Garcia 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 in Sunday's first match.

Yet a decider was needed when Pauline Parmentier won for the first time in five Fed Cup matches, emerging victorious 6-3 2-6 6-2 against Begu, who injured her right ankle and was unable to take part in the doubles.

That meant Halep was forced into action against the French duo, who have a frosty relationship following a row three years ago when Mladenovic accused Garcia of lacking "courage or human values" over the manner of their split.

Yet the two reprised their doubles partnership on Sunday and Halep's double-fault when her opponents had break point at 4-4 in the decider proved costly as Garcia served out to clinch the match before embracing Mladenovic.

Simona Halep was in fine form for Romania as she beat Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets, but France fought back to draw level at 1-1 in the Fed Cup semi-finals.

France captain Julien Benneteau predicted Halep might be the decisive factor in the meeting between the number four and five teams in the Fed Cup Rankings, and that proved to be the case in the opening match on Saturday as the world number two cruised to a 6-3 6-1 victory.

It took Halep one hour and 40 minutes to dispatch Mladenovic – who this week added Naomi Osaka's former coach Sascha Bajin to her team – in the first rubber, although Romania's lead was cut when Caroline Garcia overcame Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-3.

Aiming to propel Romania into their first Fed Cup final, Halep dropped just four games and broke Mladenovic five times at Kindarena.

Mladenovic did well to offer some resistance late in the opening set before breaking Halep's serve at the start of the second, but the 2018 French Open winner swiftly regained control to ease to victory.

Fortunately for two-time champions France, world number 21 Garcia restored parity, winning five break points over the course one hour and 26 minutes against with Buzarnescu, leaving the tie finely balanced heading into Sunday.

Garcia and Halep get things started, before Mladenovic takes on Buzarnescu in the final singles rubber.

Naomi Osaka's former coach Sascha Bajin has been hired by Kristina Mladenovic.

Bajin became the first recipient of the WTA Coach of the Year award in 2018 after helping Osaka to her maiden WTA title at Indian Wells and US Open glory in September.

Osaka made it successive grand slam crowns with victory at the Australian Open at the start of 2019, sending her to the top of the world rankings.

However, just over two weeks after triumphing at Melbourne Park, Osaka announced her surprise split from Bajin.

On Monday, Mladenovic, 66th in the WTA rankings, confirmed she would be working with the German.

"I am very excited to announce [to] you my new collaboration with Sascha Bajin. Welcome to the team, coach," the Frenchwoman posted on Twitter.

Mladenovic has a 5-7 record in main-draw Tour-level matches this year, including a first-round exit at the Australian Open and a second-round loss to Osaka at Indian Wells.

Naomi Osaka eased past Kristina Mladenovic to begin her Indian Wells Open title defence on Saturday.

Stunned by Mladenovic in Dubai last month, Osaka had no such problems in California, claiming a 6-3 6-4 victory in the second round.

The Japanese world number one was too strong for Mladenovic, hitting 24 winners and 24 unforced errors in one hour, 21 minutes.

Osaka will next face Australian Open semi-finalist Danielle Collins, who thrashed Kirsten Flipkens.

The champion in Melbourne, Osaka broke in the sixth game of the first set against Mladenovic, closing it out after a tough hold in the ninth.

A break to begin the second set put her in complete control before another gritty hold for 4-2, although there would be a brief stumble.

Osaka gave up serve at 5-2 with a double fault and was pushed again in the 10th game, but Mladenovic sent a forehand return long on match point to give the 21-year-old victory.

Venus Williams outlasted Andrea Petkovic to reach the second round of the Indian Wells Open, where Kristina Mladenovic earned a meeting with world number one Naomi Osaka.

Former world number one Williams overcame Petkovic in three sets on Thursday to set up a showdown with Australian Open runner-up and third seed Petra Kvitova.

Mladenovic will have the chance to beat defending champion Osaka for the second time in three weeks after defeating Zheng Saisai.

Eugenie Bouchard, meanwhile, fell at the first hurdle following a three-set loss against Kirsten Flipkens at the WTA tournament.

 

Venus digs deep against Petkovic

In a topsy-turvy contest, Williams edged Petkovic 6-4 0-6 6-3 in the opening round.

Playing for the first time since her third-round defeat to Simona Halep at the Australian Open, Williams needed almost two hours to see off the German.

Williams – a three-time Indian Wells semi-finalist – broke for a 4-1 lead in the final set and never looked back.

"I haven't played in forever, so that was challenging in itself, to get back into competition," said Williams.

 

Mladenovic ready for Osaka rematch

Frenchwoman and 2017 Indian Wells semi-finalist Mladenovic will face a familiar foe in the second round following her 7-5 6-2 win over Zheng.

Mladenovic's 94-minute victory booked her a blockbuster clash with Australian Open champion Osaka after she upstaged the Japanese star at the Dubai Tennis Championships in February.

"It's going to be a brand new match. The conditions are completely the opposite to what they were in Dubai: different balls, different surface," Mladenovic said. "I'm sure her game suits well here as the defending champion, and I'm sure she wants to build on some wins again. I'm going to go out there confident, show a fight, and execute as well as I did a few weeks ago."

 

Flipkens downs Bouchard… again

A marathon encounter saw Flipkens eventually beat Bouchard 7-5 3-6 7-5 after two and a half hours.

Bouchard save two match points late in the third set but she was unable to stop Flipkens, who claimed her second victory over the Canadian in as many days following Wednesday's doubles triumph.

Danielle Collins – the 25th seed – awaits Flipkens.

Naomi Osaka endured a tough start to life as world number one as she was dumped out of the Dubai Tennis Championships by Kristina Mladenovic.

The 21-year-old climbed to the top of the rankings for the first time after winning a second consecutive grand slam title at the Australian Open at the start of the year, yet her form deserted her as she returned to action on Tuesday.

Playing without a full-time coach following Sascha Bajin's departure - instead aided by Japan Tennis Association trainer Masashi Yoshikawa - Osaka floundered early on and could not recover.

Mladenovic ran out a 6-3 6-3 winner and upset the assembled Japanese fans who witnessed a surprisingly flat performance from the evening's star attraction.

Osaka was slow to get going in front of an expectant crowd and was quickly broken twice, first finding the net after a series of sloppy serves and then bowing again under pressure from Mladenovic.

The Japanese responded to the second setback in style, breaking back after a pair of stunning returns brought her fans to their feet, yet a double fault at the end of another disappointing service game handed Mladenovic the opening set.

Osaka had her head in her hands as she dropped three consecutive points and received a time violation at the start of the second, swiftly suffering another break at the hands of a now rampant opponent.

That was the first of seven breaks in succession, with Osaka returning well but repeatedly giving up her foothold in the match, shrugging bemusedly as she failed to hold serve for the seventh time in the set.

Mladenovic then had the opportunity to serve out the match and she assuredly delivered to clinch victory inside 65 minutes.

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