Elena Rybakina advanced to the last 16 at the Ostrava Open on Monday, but fellow former grand slam winner Victoria Azarenka exited at the first hurdle.

Rybakina, who has struggled for consistency since victory at Wimbledon earlier this year, came back from a set down to dispatch Madison Keys with a 5-7 6-3 6-3 win.

She could face eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko in the next round, but one name not in the draw will be Azarenka, who could not claw back victory against Ekaterina Alexandrova in a 6-4 4-6 2-6 defeat.

Alexandrova is in line to play either Emma Raducanu or Daria Kasatkina in the next stage.

Meanwhile, top seeds Iga Swiatek and Paula Badosa earned the identity of their opponents after receiving first-round byes.

Swiatek will play Ajla Tomljanovic, who progressed in straight sets against Zhang Shuai, as Badosa faces Petra Kvitova, who was made to work a little harder in three by Bernarda Pera.

At the Jasmin Open, third, fifth and seventh seeds Alize Cornet, Elise Mertens and Katerina Siniakova each advanced with respective straight-sets routs of Laura Pigossi, Jaqueline Cristian and Chloe Paquet – the latter retiring as she trailed 4-0 in the second set.

But eighth seed Magda Linette is out after letting an early lead slip against Lucrezia Stefanini, who celebrated a 2-6 6-4 6-4 victory.

Iga Swiatek warned the tennis schedule is "not safe" and "could cause injury" as she pulled out of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

The world number one was due to represent Poland in an event that will be staged in Glasgow from November 8-13, but withdrew on Monday.

That competition will start just a day after the WTA Finals finish in Fort Worth, Texas.

US and French Open champion Swiatek criticised governing bodies the WTA and International Tennis Federation (ITF), who run the Billie Jean King Cup, over the calendar.

"I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow," Swiatek posted in an Instagram story.

"It makes me sad. I'm very sorry, because I play for Poland whenever it's possible and I always give it my best.

"Playing in Poland this year [in the qualifiers] was an honour and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.

"I'm disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn't come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone.

"The situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury."

Barbora Krejcikova claimed her first title of the year by beating top seed Anett Kontaveit in the inaugural Tallinn Open final on Sunday.

Krejcikova had not won a singles title since her third triumph of 2021 in Prague last July, but ended her drought with a 6-2 6-3 defeat of the top seed.

The Czech ended the home favourite's hopes of being crowned champion in a showpiece match that was over in an hour and 21 minutes.

Kontaveit had won 24 consecutive indoor matches on hard courts, but she was no match for the 2021 French Open champion.

Krejcikova won 71 per cent of points on Kontaveit's second serve, breaking twice in the opening set and three times in the second.

She drew first blood to go 4-2 in the first following precise groundstrokes off both wings, then broke for a second time to seal an opening set in which Kontaveit made 13 unforced errors.

World number four Kontaveit responded with a break in the opening game of the second set, but failed to back that up with a hold.

Kontaveit had the initiative again at 3-1, but there was a sense of deja vu as her opponent broke straight back and served out the match after moving 5-3 in front with another break.

Mayar Sherif became the first Egyptian to win a title on the WTA Tour as she toppled Maria Sakkari in Saturday's Parma Ladies Open final.

The 26-year-old from Cairo scored a 7-5 6-3 victory over Greece's world number seven after both won their semi-finals earlier in the day.

Sakkari began the day by beating Danka Kovinic 7-5 6-2, while Sherif earned her place in the title match by battling to a 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory against Ana Bogdan.

The final surprisingly went the way of Sherif, who first entered the WTA top 100 in August of last year and has reached a high of 44th in the rankings.

She began this week at number 74 but will climb again after the biggest success of her career.

"It means a lot for my country," Sherif said. "I'm just thrilled and happy. This was never expected."

Sherif, who studied sports medicine at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, was understandably weary after her two wins on Saturday. Friday's play had been cancelled due to rain, forcing the players to take to the courts twice on finals day.

"I'm exhausted," Sherif said, quoted on the WTA website. "Today was a very tough day for me, many hours on court. I'm very happy that I pulled it off. I had to dig very deep."

At the Tallinn Open, Sunday's final will be a tantalising tussle between Anett Kontaveit and Barbora Krejcikova.

World number four Kontaveit was a 6-4 6-4 winner against fellow Estonian Kaia Kanepi in their semi-final.

Czech Krejcikova, who won last year's French Open, saw off Swiss second seed Belinda Bencic 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.

Anett Kontaveit secured a spot in the semi-finals of the Tallinn Open after overcoming Ysaline Bonaventure 6-3 3-6 6-3.

On home soil, the top seed won 80 per cent of total service points in the opening set but Bonaventure fought back in the second to send the match to a deciding set.

A valiant effort from Kontaveit in the third set secured a spot in the final four, where she will face compatriot Kaia Kanepi after her 6-2 3-6 7-6 (8-6) victory over Karolina Muchova in the final match of the day.

Earlier on Friday, second seed Belinda Bencic defeated Donna Vekic to set up a semi-final clash against Barbora Krejcikova, who defeated Beatriz Haddad Maia in straight sets.

At the Parma Ladies Open, the scheduled semi-finals were postponed due to rain and will instead be played on Saturday, with the final to follow later in the day.

Top seed Maria Sakkari faces Danka Kovinic, with play to begin at 10:30 local time, and will be followed by Ana Bogdan against Mayar Sherif.

Tallinn Open top seed Anett Kontaveit kept her hopes of winning her home tournament alive with a 6-2 6-1 demolition of Tereza Martincova on Thursday.

The 26-year-old won five out of the final six games as she stormed to the first set, before securing her place in the quarter-finals with a superb second set in which she broke Martincova four times.

Fellow Estonian Kaia Kanepi is also through to the quarter-finals after a 7-5 7-5 victory over Ann Li.

The world number 32 found a crucial break with the opener tied at 5-5 as she took the first set, before breaking Li three times in the second to seal the win.

Eighth seed Shuai Zhang was dumped out by Donna Vekic in a 6-2 6-4 defeat, while fellow seed Jil Teichmann also saw her tournament ended as Ysaline Bonaventure beat her 7-6 (10-8) 6-3.

At the Parma Ladies Open, top seed Maria Sakkari came from a set down for the second consecutive match to overcome Maryna Zanevska and reach the semi-finals.

Zanevska sparked hopes for an upset as she broke the world number seven three times on her way to taking the opening set.

But Sakkari improved in the second to tie the match, before overcoming two breaks of serve from her Belgian opponent to win six of the last seven games and earn a 2-6 6-4 6-4 success.

Sakkari will face Danka Kovinic in the semi-finals, after the 27-year-old's 6-4 6-4 triumph over Italian Jasmine Paolini.

Irina-Camelia Begu's run of 12 consecutive wins on clay came to an end as she was defeated 6-2 7-6 (8-6) by Ana Bogdan in an all-Romanian clash. 

Bogdan's opponent in the final four will be Mayar Sherif, who beat American Lauren Davis 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

Korea Open finalist Jelena Ostapenko was knocked out in the first round of the Tallinn Open after letting a one-set lead slip against Kaia Kanepi.

Ostapenko looked to be cruising after winning the opener, but Kanepi levelled in the second despite the Estonian watching five set points come and go.

Kanepi then romped to victory with a stunning final set to defeat Ostapenko 4-6 6-4 6-0 and keep her hopes of winning her home tournament alive.

In second-round action, Beatriz Haddad Maia is through to the quarter-finals after a 6-1 7-5 success over Linda Noskova.

After Haddad Maia cruised to a one-set lead, the second was a much tighter affair before the Brazilian's class showed as she broke Noskova and then held serve to earn a straight-sets win.

Second seed Belinda Bencic also secured her place in the final eight with a 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 triumph over Katie Boulter.

At the Parma Ladies Open, top seed Maria Sakkari came from behind to beat Arantxa Rus and seal her quarter-final spot.

Rus saved five out of five break points as she won the opening set 6-3 to give her hope of an upset.

Those hopes were soon dashed though as world number seven Sakkari broke twice to take the second set 6-2, before clinching the match in the third to tee up a clash with Maryna Zanevska.

World number 33 Irina-Camelia Begu made it 12 consecutive wins on clay by overcoming Matilde Paoletti in straight sets and will face fellow Romanian Ana Bogdan in the next round after she beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2 3-6 6-3.

Fourth seed Sloane Stephens saw her tournament come to an end after she was defeated by Danka Kovinic.

Anett Kontaveit fought back to secure her place in the last 16 of the Tallinn Open in her native Estonia against a spirited Xiyu Wang.

The in-form Wang made life difficult for top seed Kontaveit initially, impressively taking the first set against the world number four.

Kontaveit then appeared to be cruising to victory when she took the second set 6-2 and found herself 5-1 up in the third, but Wang staged something of a revival.

Wang won four games on the trot to stun Kontaveit, only for the 21-year-old to lose her nerve as her opponent broke again and then served out the match 3-6 6-2 7-5, taking her through to face Tereza Martincova.

Beatriz Haddad Maia was also caused problems by a Chinese player, with Xinyu Wang taking the third seed to three sets.

Haddad Maia took the first set fairly comfortably but was blown away in the second before her composure returned in the decider, winning 6-3 1-6 6-4 to also progress to the last 16.

The other seed in action on Tuesday was Jil Teichmann, and she had no such issues seeing off Laura Siegemund 6-4 7-6 (9-7), although the day's most impressive win saw Donna Vekic thrash Maileen Nuudi 6-2 6-0.

At the Parma Ladies Open, second seed Martina Trevisan was stunned 7-5 6-0 by Sara Sorribes Tormo.

It was a bad day for seeds throughout the draw in Italy. Anna Bondar (fifth), Nuria Parrizas Diaz (seventh) and Lucia Bronzetti (eighth) all lost in straight sets.

Third favourite Irina-Camelia Begu did buck that trend, however. She benefited from Viktoriya Tomova retiring, although the Romanian was already a set and 5-1 up.

Maria Sakkari was made to work as she battled her way back from a set down to reach the last 16 of the Parma Ladies Open.

The number one seed lost the first set to Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Baindl as a shock appeared to be on the cards.

But the two-time grand slam semi-finalist showed great spirit to eventually win 6-7 (7-2) 6-2 6-3 after two hours and 45 minutes on court.

Fourth seed Sloane Stephens also had to respond to first-set disappointment before coming through 3-6 6-3 6-4 against Magdalena Frech.

The only other seed in action on Monday was Ana Bogdan (sixth), and she had no such issues as she lost just three games in a straightforward win over Brazilian Laura Pigossi that took just 73 minutes.

At the Tallinn Open in Estonia, Belinda Bencic was the highest-ranked player on court on Monday, and the second seed breezed through her first-round clash with local favourite Elena Malygina 6-0 6-2.

Karolina Muchova crushed Jessika Ponchet by the same scoreline, while Barbora Krejcikova, seeded seventh, saw off Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in straight sets.

However, there was no joy for Madison Keys; the fourth seed going down 6-3 6-2 against Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic.

Marta Kostyuk defeated Bernarda Pera 6-6 4-6 6-3, and Great Britain's Katie Boulter dropped only four games in her 6-3 6-1 demolition of Jaqueline Cristian, setting up a second-round date with Bencic.

Liudmila Samsonova continued her recent run of excellent form by claiming the Toray Pan Pacific Open title with victory over teenager Zheng Qinwen.

Zheng beat top seed Paula Badosa and fourth seed Veronika Kudermetova en route to her first WTA final.

However, the 19-year-old was undone by Samsonova, who has now won 18 of her last 19 matches, claiming three titles in that run.

Her 7-5 7-5 success in Tokyo made it two successive titles won without dropping a set and will move her up to a career-high ranking of 23.

Zheng, meanwhile, will become the first Chinese teenager to be ranked in the top 30. She is set to move up to 28th in the world.

"It was a really tough match because huge congrats to Qinwen and her team because she's playing amazing," Samsonova said afterwards. 

"Seriously, congrats guys. It was a nervous match today. We were fighting every point. It was tough."

Ekaterina Alexandrova is aiming high after overcoming some early nerves to beat top seed Jelena Ostapenko in the Korea Open final for her third WTA Tour title.

The 27-year-old prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 in Seoul to add to previous titles won in Shenzhen and 's-Hertogenbosch, the latter coming just three months ago.

Alexandrova is at a career-high 24th in the WTA rankings and is hoping to climb further before the year is out.

"You always want to achieve more. I want to go higher and maybe end the year in the top 20 in the best-case scenario," she said in her on-court interview.

Ostapenko advanced to Sunday's final after Emma Raducanu retired injured in the previous round and was aiming to become the first two-time champion in the event.

Second seed Alexandrova dug deep in the first set by recovering from a break down three times against the 2017 winner before saving a set point at 6-5 down.

The Russian looked far stronger in the second set as she posted her sixth bagel of 2022 to seal victory in a time of 85 minutes.

"I think it was tough for me to start because I was really nervous and I couldn't find my rhythm in the first couple of games," Alexandrova said.

"But the longer we played, the better I felt on the court. I think maybe somewhere in the end of the first set I finally found the rhythm and I just continued to keep it that way."

Iga Swiatek could reach double figures for grand slam titles but Wimbledon may be a stumbling block, according to Marion Bartoli.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Bartoli said she did not expect any player on the WTA Tour to match the "greatness" of Serena or Venus Williams.

The Frenchwoman, who won the 2013 Wimbledon women's singles title, also claimed the level of competition is currently not as strong as it was for the previous generation.

She is sold on Swiatek, though, who added to her 2020 and 2022 French Open titles by winning the US Open earlier in September.

The 21-year-old Polish player has emerged as the clear world number one since Ash Barty retired in March, stringing together 37 consecutive wins at one point until Alize Cornet beat her in round three at Wimbledon.

A lull in her performances followed that exit on the grass, but Swiatek fought her way through the field to triumph in New York.

"I was very impressed by how Iga this time with the US Open came with absolutely zero confidence and still found a way to win, and that is really a champion's mind," Bartoli said.

""She played really not great tennis in Toronto, not good tennis in Cincinnati, didn't play that well before the US Open. Whatever she worked on with her coach, she went on and plugged in for seven matches and to win the title, which is very impressive.

"So I think the level it's not at the highest, but I think the way she has been able to handle the pressure and go for it and win was absolutely very, very impressive.

"And she will win more. For sure she will win more on clay, she will win more on normal, slower hardcourts. Maybe not grass, but slow hard court is really a good surface for her as well. So easily between five and 10 for Iga, easily."

With Serena Williams saying a fond farewell to competitive tennis at the US Open, the women's tour has lost a 23-slam giant. In Bartoli's mind, there may be nobody of the great American's prowess to emerge for many years to come.

She said: "I think it's unfair to ask any of the current women's players to be as dominating as Serena was, or you know Venus as well.

"You just can't ask them to be at that level of greatness. You get that one out of a century or even two centuries. So I think we will have to wait a while before we get the next Serena Williams.

"And even Coco [Gauff] has talked about it, [saying] 'I'm not Serena, I will probably not get 23 grand slams like Serena you know, so stop putting pressure on me'.

"I think they're just trying their hardest, they're just trying their best, but obviously as Maria Sharapova said and I agree with her, the level of competition we used to have when all of us were playing was I think higher than what it is now."

Bartoli pointed to the example of Emma Raducanu, as a near-unknown, winning the US Open last year. She said that triumph for the British teenager was "out of any rational thoughts".

"This year she lost first round [to Cornet] and she dropped to 80 in the world," Bartoli added.

"You know that someone at 80 and someone at five, there is not so much of a difference in terms of level. And that's why you see those sort of upsets and constant change."

Emma Raducanu was forced to retire from her Korea Open semi-final against Jelena Ostapenko due to injury, leaving the Latvian to face second seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in Sunday's final.

The 2021 US Open winner was featuring in her first semi-final since that fairytale triumph at Flushing Meadows, and took the opening set 6-4 after making a flying start on Saturday.

Ostapenko then fought back to level the match, with Raducanu first appearing to struggle with her movement when she was a break up in the second, forcing her to take an off-court medical timeout.

The 19-year old later retired citing a left glute injury when 3-0 down in the decider, ending her confidence-boosting run in Seoul and teeing up a final meeting between the top two seeds.

Indeed, Alexandrova enjoyed a more routine outing in her meeting with Wimbledon semi-finalist Tatjana Maria, downing the German 6-2 6-4 to advance to her second final of the year.

At the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, meanwhile, Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen reached her first WTA Tour final with a hard-fought win over world number 13 Veronika Kudermetova.

Having required over three hours to seal her 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7-3) triumph, the world number 36 said: "After the match when I won the last point, the feeling was incredible. 

"The opponent, she's playing unbelievable tennis. She has a really good serve and hits the ball hard, she moves well. It's my first time in the final. I'm so happy."

Her compatriot Zhang Shuai was unable to replicate those exploits, however, as Liudmila Samsonova eased into her third WTA final of the year with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win. 

In-form Samsonova has won both of her previous final appearances this year - each of which came last month - and is 3-0 in showpiece matches for her career.

Emma Raducanu raced into her first semi-final of 2022 by beating Magda Linette at the Korea Open, teeing up a meeting with top seed Jelena Ostapenko. 

Raducanu required just 77 minutes to see off the third seed for a 6-2 6-2 win, dominating from the outset to clinch her first final four spot in any tournament since last year's famous US Open triumph.

Having wrapped up the opener with a fierce backhand winner, Raducanu was forced to endure a brief revival from Linette in the second set, before the Pole was troubled by a thigh injury.

Linette lost 14 of the first 17 points on resumption after a medical time out, struggling with her movement as Raducanu saw out the match.

Raducanu has yet to drop a set during her run in Seoul, but will face a stern test in the semi-finals after Ostapenko overcame 17-year-old Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva 6-2 6-1, setting up a first career meeting between the duo.

On the other side of the draw, Ekaterina Alexandrova earned a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 (8-6) win over Lulu Radovcic, but fourth seed Zhu Lin crashed out to Tatjana Maria, losing 6-1 6-1.

In the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, meanwhile, Garbine Muguruza fell to a shock 6-4 6-2 quarter-final defeat to Liudmila Samsonova, handing the Russian her 16th win in her last 17 outings.

She will meet Zhang Shuai in the next round, after she became the first Chinese player to make the last four in Tokyo since 2009 by beating Petra Martic 7-5 6-2. 

In a battle between the competition's fourth and fifth seeds, meanwhile, Veronika Kudermetova rallied to beat Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-1.

 

Naomi Osaka's title defence at her home Pan Pacific Open event came to a premature end as she withdrew from her second-round match against Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The former world number one, who won the Tokyo tournament when it was last held in 2019, was unable to compete in Thursday's match due to illness.

"I am really sorry that I am not able to compete today," Osaka said. "It's an honour to be able to play at the Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans here in Japan.

"This has and always will be a special tournament for me and I wish I could have stepped on court today, but my body won't let me."

Haddad Maia advanced on a walkover and will next face fourth seed Veronika Kudermetova, who defeated Mexican qualifier Fernanda Contreras Gomez 6-0 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals.

Liudmila Samsonova also progressed to the last eight, with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win over Wang Xinyu continuing her good form.

However, sixth seed Karolina Pliskova exited the competition on Thursday at the hands of Petra Martic, who prevailed 6-3 6-4 and will face Zhang Shuai next.

At the Korea Open, top seed Jelena Ostapenko recovered from two games down in the deciding set to overcome Anastasia Gasanova 6-3 5-7 7-5.

Ostapenko remains on a possible semi-final collision course with Emma Raducanu, who came through 6-4 7-5 against Yanina Wickmayer, while Magda Linette saved two match points to beat Kristina Mladenovic 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Page 1 of 75
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.