Victoria Azarenka has booked a clash with the top seed of the Guadalajara Open after defeating Elina Avanesyan 6-4 6-2 in Monday's opening round.

In the last event of the season before the WTA Finals, Belarus' Azarenka was too strong with her return game for her Russian opponent, winning 53 per cent (32-of-60) of her return points while capitalising on five-of-seven break point opportunities to earn a shot at world number eight Paula Badosa.

While Azarenka has no chance of qualifying for the WTA Finals – with only the top-eight players in the rankings making it through – Belinda Bencic is one of the players who can sneak in with a great result this week.

Needing to make the semi-finals to have a chance, she got off on the right foot with a 7-5 6-7 (10-12) 6-3 win against Leylah Fernandez in her opening match.

Petra Kvitova can also qualify if she reaches the final, and she started without issue, defeating Bernarda Pera 6-3 7-5.

Ekaterina Alexandrova had an outside chance of claiming a WTA Finals spot if she won this tournament, but she was the victim of the day's biggest upset, falling 6-4 7-6 (10-8) to Camila Osorio.

At 22nd in the world, Liudmila Samsonova is the lowest-ranked player in the field with a mathematical chance at qualification, but she is a step closer after handling Kaia Kanepi 6-1 7-5.

Despite Fernandez's earlier loss, it was a strong day for the Canadians, with Bianca Andreescu proving too good in her 6-2 6-4 victory against Jil Teichmann, and Rebecca Marino also only needed two sets to defeat Ann Li 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

China's Lin Zhu came from a set behind to beat France's Alize Cornet 3-6 6-3 6-4, while Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk had a much quicker result in her 6-1 6-3 triumph over Belarus' Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

World number 34 Elise Mertens had no problems in one of the biggest mismatches of the day as she defeated world number 185 Asia Muhammad 6-3 6-2, and Sloane Stephens needed only 54 minutes to advance 6-0 6-2 past Linda Fruhvirtova.

In the last match of the night, Mexico's top chance Fernanda Contreras Gomez was eliminated by Alja Tomljanovic 6-2 6-1.

Iga Swiatek says she "wanted to go all in" to ensure she won her eighth WTA Tour title of 2022 with a 6-3 3-6 6-0 victory over Donna Vekic in the San Diego Open final on Sunday.

Swiatek became the fifth player since 2000 to win eight or more WTA-level titles in a single season after Martina Hingis, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

She did not have it all her own way against Vekic, with the Croatian world number 47 battling back from losing the opener to take the second set and level the match.

But Swiatek showed her class in the decisive third set, breaking Vekic three times to romp to the title.

The world number one says she had to give it everything to ensure victory over Vekic in a tough match, saying at her on-court presentation: "It was a really tight match and pretty long.

"We felt the intensity for sure. At the end I wanted to be the one who played the last ball in. I wanted to go all in.

"Knowing how well she can serve, I just wanted to be more loosened up on my return games - not think too much, use my intuition and fight for every ball."

With her round-of-16 win over Zheng Qinwen, Swiatek became the first player to win 61 matches in a single season since Caroline Wozniacki in 2017.

Frighteningly for her opponents, the 21-year-old spoke after that win of her belief that she was still a few years away from her prime.

"I wasn't expecting to have this kind of season this year," Swiatek told reporters. 

"I thought, maybe, I'm going to be at my peak when I'm 24, 25, and have that experience, maybe results like that are going to come."

Swiatek's 64 wins in 2022 is the most for any woman since Serena Williams' 78 in 2013, while the Pole has lost just one match in the United States this year.

Swiatek intends to take full advantage of San Diego's sun and sand as she celebrates another title, making it 11 wins and just two defeats in finals.

"I am speechless," the 21-year-old said in a video on Twitter. "I'm so proud of me and the team that we actually won this tournament.

"It wasn't easy so I'm happy that I believe in myself and I fought to the last point.

"I love San Diego, I'm going to enjoy the beach tomorrow!"

World number one Iga Swiatek claimed her eighth WTA Tour title of the season, storming home to claim a three-set victory over Donna Vekic in the San Diego Open final on Sunday.

Swiatek improved her record in the United States to 24-1 this season with the victory in one hour and 47 minutes, getting past the Croatian qualifier 6-3 3-6 6-0.

The Pole previously won the US Open, along with the Indian Wells and Miami titles this season.

Top seed Swiatek secured her 64th win of the season, which is the most since Serena Williams won 78 in 2013.

Vekic ensured it was not easy for Swiatek, continuing her excellent week – knocking out Maria Sakkari, Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins - with a strong second set.

The Croatian actually had to complete her semi-final earlier on Sunday after a rain-interrupted encounter with Collins, winning 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2) after resuming 4-2 down in the third set, before taking on Swiatek.

Swiatek's dominance was felt, winning 82 per cent of her second-serve points, ruthlessly converting four of six break points as well.

Vekic only generated one break point for the match but she took it, keeping the match alive in the second set where she was more aggressive.

The 2022 US Open and French Open champion responded emphatically in the final frame, capitalising on three of four break points and winning 24 of the 29 points for the set to triumph.

Qualifier Anna Blinkova landed the first WTA singles title of her career by beating Jasmine Paolini in Sunday's Transylvania Open final.

The 24-year-old world number 138 had to come through qualifying in Cluj-Napoca, and she completed a stellar campaign at the Romanian event by getting her hands on the trophy.

Blinkova won 6-2 3-6 6-2 in an hour and 41 minutes, scotching Paolini's hopes of a second title in her tour career.

"I felt great the whole 10 days that I spent here since last Wednesday," the Russian said in her trophy acceptance speech. "I'm really looking forward to coming back next year."

The WTA said Blinkova's success made her the fifth qualifier to secure a tour title in 2022, following victories for Tatjana Maria in Bogota, Anastasia Potapova in Istanbul, Bernarda Pera in Budapest and Caroline Garcia in Cincinnati.

Blinkova, who was once ranked 54th in the world, will return to the world's top 100 on Monday.

World number one Iga Swiatek qualified for her ninth WTA Tour of the year, coming from a set down to get past fourth seed Jessica Pegula at the San Diego Open on a rain-affected Saturday.

Swiatek was at her dominant best against Pegula after dropping the opening frame, breaking her opponents' serve four times in the latter two sets to triumph 4-6 6-2 6-2 in two hours and six minutes.

The Pole extended her domination of Pegula this year, winning all four of their encounters in 2022, while the victory is her 63rd of the season, equaling Angelique Kerber's mark from 2016. Swiatek is also 23-1 in the United States this season.

Swiatek finished with 22-8 forehand winners, while she won 75 per cent of her second serves, compared to Pegula's 38 per cent.

After Pegula won the first set that included three breaks of serve, the match was halted for more than an hour due to rain, with Swiatek revealing post-game she passed time with crosswords.

That worked for the top seed who raced to a 3-0 second-set lead after the resumption and did not drop serve for the remainder of the match, saving three break points at 2-2 in the third.

The 2022 French Open and US Open champion will take on either Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic or American world number 19 Danielle Collins in Sunday's decider after their semi-final was ultimately suspended due to rain.

Collins leads Vekic 4-6 6-4 4-2 with the match restarted three times after rain, before the call was made to postpone it until Sunday, no earlier than 12.30pm local time, with the final to be played later in the day.

Anna Blinkova advanced to her first WTA Tour singles final in one of two marathon last-four upsets at the Transylvania Open on Saturday.

Blinkova, the world number 138, had to come through qualifying in Cluj-Napoca but has built her momentum over the course of the week.

The Russian eliminated second seed Anhelina Kalinina in the quarter-finals on Friday, and continued her excellent form by downing compatriot Anastasia Potapova in the semis.

Number four seed Potapova took the opener against Blinkova, but the 24-year-old rallied to a 5-7 6-4 6-4 win to break new ground on the Tour.

Now, however, Blinkova faces an opponent who has beaten her twice in a row, dropping only seven games in the process.

Jasmine Paolini is herself playing only her second singles final on Sunday, having toppled seventh seed Wang Xiyu after two and a half hours on Saturday.

The Italian also required three sets, recovering her composure after being pegged back in the second to progress 7-5 4-6 6-3.

Elina Svitolina gave birth to her and husband Gael Monfils' first child on Saturday.

The couple, who married in July 2021, have announced the arrival of daughter Skai Monfils.

Former world number three Svitolina and two-time grand slam semi-finalist Monfils announced last May they were expecting a baby girl.

Svitolina posted on Instagram on Saturday: "Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Skai Monfils.

"Can't thank enough my husband to live [through] this unforgettable moment with me."

Monfils wrote on social media: "I had the most amazing night of my life, which ended with the most beautiful gift around 6.00am.

"Elina was strong and brave. I can't [thank] enough my wife and God for this special moment. Welcome to the world my little princess Skai."

World number one Iga Swiatek thrashed Coco Gauff to clinch a third straight WTA Tour semi-finals berth after moving into the San Diego Open final four on Friday.

Swiatek was irrepressible against the 18-year-old American, extending her head-to-head dominance to 4-0 with a 6-0 6-3 victory in 66 minutes.

The Pole won the first eight games of the match and always appeared in control with her reliable forehand a key feature.

Swiatek laced 13 winners with only nine unforced errors, breaking Gauff five times. The American committed 26 unforced errors for the match.

The victory is Swiatek's 62nd of the season, moving her closer to Angelique Kerber's 2016 mark of 63.

Swiatek will face fourth seed Jessica Pegula in the semi-finals as the Pole aims for her eighth WTA title of the season.

Pegula secured her berth in the final four with a 6-4 7-5 victory over compatriot Madison Keys in their first-ever meeting in one hour and 34 minutes.

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka was a surprise casualty as Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic continued her excellent week with a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 in two hours and 37 minutes.

World number 77 Vekic has beaten former world number three Maria Sakkari and two-time major finalist Karolina Pliskova this week.

Second seed Paula Badosa was also bundled out by American Danielle Collins 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. Collins will meet Vekic in the last four.

Transylvania Open favourite Anhelina Kalinina squandered a lead as she went down 6-7 (9-7) 6-1 6-3 to Anna Blinkova in the quarter-finals.

Kalinina, the second seed, looked well placed to go on and reach the last four in Cluj when she battled into the lead against Blinkova on Friday.

But the Ukrainian could not stop the world number 138 rallying back to reach her second WTA Tour-level semi-final of the season.

Blinkova went on to reach the final on her previous last-four appearance at a WTA tournament this year – at L'Open 35 de Saint Malo – but missed out on the title when she lost to Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Kalinina's exit leaves Anastasia Potapova as the highest seed left in the tournament, and she will face fellow Russian Blinkova for a place in the final.

Potapova defeated Hungary's Anna Bondar 7-5 3-6 6-1 to reach the last four.

Jasmine Paolini beat Jule Niemeier 7-5 7-5 to tee up a meeting with Nuria Parrizas Diaz or Xiyu Wang.

World number one Iga Swiatek commenced her San Diego Open campaign with a hard-fought three-set victory over Chinese lucky loser Zheng Qinwen in rainy conditions on Thursday.

The 2022 French Open and US Open champion triumphed 6-4 4-6 6-1 in two hours and two minutes, bouncing back strongly after losing the second set.

Zheng's power and forehand top spin proved challenging for the Pole, who was solid from the baseline to secure her 11st tour quarter-finals appearance this season.

The Chinese had broken Swiatek to lead 1-0 in the third set, but the top seed responded in trademark style, improving her record in the United States this season to 21-1.

Swiatek will take on eighth seed Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals, with the match-up marking a re-match of this year's French Open final.

Gauff worked her way into the last eight with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

The 18-year-old American also had to fight back from a set down in the third set to win in a match that lasted just over two-and-a-half hours.

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka fought back from a lopsided opening set to knock out American Sloane Stephens 1-6 6-3 6-2 in two hours and one minute. The Belarussian will take on Donna Vekic in the next round.

Second seed Paula Badosa eased into the last eight, winning in 53 minutes against American qualifier Louisa Chirico 6-0 6-3. Badosa will face Danielle Collins in the quarter-finals.

Madison Keys triumphed over eighth seed Daria Kasatkina 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 27 minutes to secure a quarter-final date with fourth seed Jessica Pegula.

Number two seed Anhelina Kalinina cruised through to the last eight of the Transylvania Open on Thursday thanks to a straight sets victory over Ysaline Bonaventure.

The Ukrainian barely had to break sweat on her way to a 6-3 6-2 triumph to set up a quarter-final meeting with Anna Blinkova, who beat Xinyu Wang 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Fourth seed Anastasia Potapova had an equally comfortable time in her last-16 match against Viktorija Golubic in Cluj, strolling to a 6-2 6-3 win.

Xiyu Wang, seeded seventh, had a tougher time in her meeting with Elena-Gabriela Ruse, the Chinese player ultimately overcoming her Romanian opponent 6-1 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (8-6).

In Thursday's other match, Nuria Parrizas Diaz beat Dalma Galfi 6-1 6-4.

Coco Gauff won the battle of the American teenagers as she progressed into the San Diego Open second round with a 6-3 6-3 over Robin Montgomery on Wednesday.

The 2022 French Open finalist beat fellow 18-year-old Montgomery in a rain-affected match in one hour and 23 minutes, to clinch a last-16 clash with Bianca Andreescu.

The match marked Gauff's first game on tour since losing to Caroline Garcia in the US Open quarter-finals last month, although she had to endure an overnight rain delay, resuming on Wednesday up 6-3 3-2.

Gauff only needed 20 minutes on Wednesday to close out the victory, finishing the match with 3-0 aces, winning 76 per cent on her first serve and converting four of seven break points.

Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic continued her strong run with a 6-3 6-2 win over 2022 US Open quarter-finalist Karolina Pliskova. Vekic moved into the third round, having beaten Maria Sakkari in the first round too.

Fourth seed Jessica Pegula eased her way into the third round with a 6-3 6-1 victory over wild card Coco Vandeweghe in only 69 minutes. Pegula can secure her first WTA Finals qualification this week.

Danielle Collins was another American victor, triumphing 6-2 6-4 over Italy's Martina Trevisan in one hour and 27 minutes, reaching her third quarter-final of the year.

Coco Gauff believes her and fellow teen Robin Montgomery are products of Venus and Serena Williams' legacy as the Roland Garros runner-up looks to inspire the next generation of African-American talent.

The two 18-year-old Americans collided in the opening round of the San Diego Open, with Gauff prevailing 6-3 6-3 in what was her first match since defeat by Caroline Garcia in the US Open quarter-finals last month.

This season's Roland Garros finalist is widely believed to be the next dominant player from her nation following the retirement of Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows.

Along with sister Venus, the Williams sisters won a combined 30 major singles titles during their highly decorated careers, as well as 14 grand slam triumphs in women's doubles, in which they are also the only pair to win a career golden slam.

And Gauff hopes she can follow the sisters' well-trodden footsteps, while also going on to serve as an inspiration herself.

"It definitely affects the future a lot," she said during her post-match interview. "If Serena and Venus saw this today; two 18-year-olds - both African-American - playing on the WTA 500 level - I think they would be proud.

"I think both of us are products of their legacy. I'm grateful that I had those examples to follow after, and I hope I can be an example myself."

On the match, she said: "It was the first time playing someone younger than me in probably at least seven years. It was definitely a different feeling for me.

"I know Robin very well, we went on a couple of USTA trips back when we were about eight-years-old. She played really well, I expected a good level from her. I was pretty impressed with how well she was striking the ball; it was difficult for me."

Magda Linette was the highest-profile casualty at the Transylvania Open on Wednesday after suffering a straight-sets defeat against Xinyu Wang.

Four of the seeded players have now fallen at the first hurdle in Cluj, with Lucia Bronzetti also joining Linette, Ana Bogdan and Marta Kostyuk in suffering early exits.

Fifth seed Linette was beaten 6-2 6-4 by Wang, while ninth seed Bronzetti went down 4-6 6-2 6-4 against world number 89 Dalma Galfi.

Anna Bondar is through to the quarter-finals, though, with the eighth seed enjoying a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victory over Harriet Dart.

Jasmine Paolini took just 58 minutes to wrap up a resounding 6-4 6-1 win over Dayana Yastremska.

Next up for the Italian is a last-eight showdown with Wimbledon quarter-finalist Jule Niemeier, who overcame Kamilla Rakhimova 6-4 6-4.

Donna Vekic produced a spectacular second set to shock world number seven Maria Sakkari 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 in the first round of the San Diego Open on Tuesday.

After a hard-fought first set where both women were able to convert one of their four break point opportunities, Vekic took control in the tie-breaker and carried that momentum in the second set.

Vekic won 65 per cent of her service points in the second set, while Sakkari could only muster a 47-per-cent success rate, despite having a significant edge in first-serve accuracy (79 per cent to Vekic's 53 per cent).

The Croatian only had two break point opportunities, and that is all she needed, taking both to run away with one of the biggest wins of her career.

Vekic will play Karolina Pliskova in the second round after the Czech defeated America's Caroline Dolehide 6-3 6-4.

Pliskova, ranked 22nd in the world, had no issue with the world number 181 in one of Tuesday's biggest mismatches, nabbing a break-to-love in the first set before taking a quick double-break to begin the second.

World number 11 Daria Kasatkina was too strong for Leylah Fernandez, cruising to a 6-2 6-2 victory in exactly one hour.

Sloane Stephens earned a shot against world number five Aryna Sabalenka in the second round after getting the better of Switzerland's Jil Teichmann 6-1 7-6 (7-2).

World number 13 Garbine Muguruza was clearly not at 100 per cent, retiring hurt after losing the first five games of her match against China's Qinweng Zheng, and Coco Gauff will resume her contest against Robin Montgomery leading 6-3 3-2 after rain halted the action for the day.

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