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Top-seeded Muguruza wins Linz opener

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LINZ, Austria — French Open champion Garbine Muguruza advanced to the second round of the Generali Ladies by beating Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.

The top-seeded Spaniard dropped serve twice and saved six more break points as she struggled for consistency against the 69th-ranked Buyukakcay.

“On this surface it was very difficult for me,” Muguruza said. “It’s my first indoor event so it’s hard to find your rhythm.”

Muguruza, who was a late entry to the event after U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova pulled out, will next play Monica Niculescu of Romania.

French qualifier Oceane Dodin became the first player to reach the quarterfinals by beating Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 6-4. The 89th-ranked Dodin, who won her maiden title in Quebec last month, had eight aces and avoided break points on her serve.

Earlier, second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the second round by beating Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-1, 6-2. The 10th-ranked Slovak, who reached the final in 2011, converted all six break points while Bencic managed to hold her serve only once in the match.

Cibulkova will play Annika Beck of Germany for a place in the quarterfinals.

Also, third-seeded Madison Keys of the United States defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-3, 6-4, and Kirsten Flipkens advanced after Mandy Minella of Luxembourg pulled out with a hip injury after the Belgian won the opening set 6-4.

Kasatkina upsets Venus Williams to reach Indian Wells final

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a nearly three-hour baseline struggle to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night.

Kasatkina was two points from defeat, trailing 4-5 and 0-30 in the third set when Williams committed four straight errors as the 20-year-old Russian tied it 5-all.

Williams won just two more points as Kasatkina took the last two games to close out the match in 2 hours, 48 minutes. Kasatkina dropped her racket near the baseline and covered her face with her hands as she walked to the net.

After shaking hands, Kasatkina pumped her fists and shook her head slightly as if in disbelief at beating the 37-year-old American and advancing to the biggest final of her young career.

Top-ranked Simona Halep took on Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old from Japan, in the other semifinal.

After losing the first set, Kasatkina was visited by her coach on court. Philippe Dehaes told her, “She’s 37, you’re 20. Make her work a lot.”

When she wasn’t trading shots from the baseline, a nervy Kasatkina fooled Williams with drop shots, including two that landed just over the net near the sideline. The Russian tossed up lobs over the 6-foot-1 American – some worked, some didn’t, but she was undeterred.

There were 14 service breaks in the match.

Williams rallied from 3-1 down to win the first set. She trailed 3-1 again in the second and tied it 3-all when Kasatkina was broken on a double fault.

Kasatkina won the last four games in a row to take the second set. The players dueled through eight deuces in an epic eighth game, with the Russian turning back six break points against her. Williams pulled a forehand wide to lose the game.

Kasatkina’s coach visited her again before the third set.

“You go for it?” he asked her.

“Sure,” she replied, and they slapped hands.

Williams served a love game to go up 5-4. She led love-30 on Kasatkina’s serve in the next game before her forehand deserted her.

Williams double-faulted twice in a row to drop serve and trail 6-5. Kasatkina won on her second match point when Williams netted a backhand.

Kasatkina now owns a 2-1 record against Williams, who won 10-8 in the third round at Wimbledon in 2016.

Juan Martin del Potro defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Milos Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to reach the men’s semifinals.

More AP tennis coverage:

Maria Sharapova withdraws from Miami with forearm injury

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Miami Open that begins next week because of a left forearm injury.

Sharapova announced the decision on Friday. She’ll be replaced in the main draw by American Jennifer Brady.

Sharapova lost in the first round at Indian Wells last week and in the third round of the Australian Open in January. She returned to the tour last year after a 15-month doping ban.

The women’s field includes eight-time Key Biscayne champion Serena Williams and No. 1-ranked Simona Halep. The men’s field includes defending champion Roger Federer and six-time Key Biscayne champ Novak Djokovic.