Donskoy of Russia beats Argentina’s Bagnis in Barcelona Open

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Evgeny Donskoy of Russia defeated Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 7-5, 7-6 (5) to advance to the second round of the Barcelona Open on Monday.

Elsewhere, crowds welcomed newly-crowned Monte Carlo Masters champion and eight-time Barcelona Open winner Rafael Nadal as he arrived at the club.

Nadal has a bye into the next round, where he will play the winner of the match between Marcel Granollers and Daniel Munoz de la Nava.

Nadal said he realized he wouldn’t be able to go on winning in Barcelona indefinitely, but his victory in Monte Carlo had given him great confidence.

“I’m really happy to have won one of the most important tournaments of the year,” he added. “I won’t talk about what’s missing or what I’m lacking right now. I have to be satisfied with what I’ve accomplished.”

Nadal’s win over Monfils clinched his ninth Monte Carlo title and a record-equaling 28th Masters crown.

Barcelona’s 48-player draw this week includes defending champion Kei Nishikori – who is targeting a third title – David Ferrer and Richard Gasquet.

In other first-round matches, Malek Jaziri of Tunisia eased past Chung Hey-on of South Korea 6-3, 6-4 and Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic recovered to beat Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late wild card to the red clay court tournament, was playing her first event since losing to Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The Greek player will next face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium after she eased past Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There will be an American in the final eight, however, as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sorribes Tormo had eliminated second-seeded Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the opening round.

Davis will play Mayar Sherif after the Egyptian player defeated Simona Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Also, third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania eased past Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.