Andy Murray defeats Grigor Dimitrov to win China Open

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BEIJING — Andy Murray won the China Open in Beijing on Sunday, defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 (2), in a hard-fought match that featured plenty of acrobatics from both players.

Playing in his ninth final of the season, the top-seeded Scot broke Dimitrov in the first game of the first set and again in the fifth game of the second. Murray looked to have the match in the bag serving at 5-4, but the Bulgarian finally broke his serve, then held his own to force the tiebreaker.

The finals victory was Murray’s first in three attempts at the China Open, having reached the quarterfinals on his debut and the semifinals in 2014.

Agnieszka Radwanska had an easier time of it in the women’s final, handily defeating Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2.

The third-seeded Pole added to her 2011 victory in the Beijing tournament, notching up her 20th career title and third of 2016. She took the victory without dropping a set throughout the tournament.

Radwanska broke Konta in the third game but then was broken back in the eighth before holding her service to take the first set.

She established her dominance in the second set, breaking Konta twice before serving out for the win with an ace.

“That was a really special week for me,” Radwanska said in post-match comments. “I really played great tennis, especially against top players.”

Radwanska has now won both of the pair’s encounters. She sealed the victory with just six unforced errors to Konta’s 29.

The 11th-seeded Konta was making her first Beijing appearance and had already assured herself of a place in the next WTA top-10 rankings – the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1984.

“I guess it’s pretty cool. I’m very pleased with my progress over the last few years, and hopefully, yes, still many more places to climb,” said Konta, who was making her first appearance in Beijing. “But as of now I’m really enjoying my journey, I’m really enjoying working hard and really working towards playing matches like these against players like Agnieszka, so hopefully I’ll have many more in the future.”

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

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PARMA, Italy — The semifinals of the Parma Ladies Open have been postponed by a day and will be played shortly before Saturday’s final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Saturday before sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan’s match against Mayar Sherif.

The final will be after 6 p.m. local time, shortly after the doubles final – with the doubles semifinals also being played earlier in the day on a different court.

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).