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Wrist injury ends Suarez Navarro’s bid to reach WTA Finals

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MOSCOW — A wrist injury killed off Carla Suarez Navarro’s hopes of qualifying for the WTA Finals as the Spanish player retired while facing Australian Daria Gavrilova in the Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.

Needing to win the Kremlin Cup to qualify for the elite competition in Singapore this weekend, Suarez Navarro was down 6-4, 3-0 to Gavrilova in the second round when she retired.

Gavrilova, who was born in Moscow, will play either seventh-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia or Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the quarterfinals.

Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova remains on course to claim the last WTA Finals place after she beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-4, 7-5 in their second-round match. The Russian was in strong form, landing 76 percent of her first serves, and next plays either Hungarian Timea Babos or French player Kristina Mladenovic.

Kuznetsova will qualify for the WTA Finals only if she wins the Kremlin Cup. Otherwise, the place goes to Britain’s Johanna Konta.

The fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine eased past Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-2 and into the quarterfinals. Svitolina next plays 18-year-old Croatian Ana Konjuh, who had a second-round walkover when Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova was unable to play.

In the men’s event, seventh-seeded Paolo Lorenzi became the first seeded player to go out, losing to fellow Italian Fabio Fognini 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in the second round.

Federer survives scare to advance in Halle

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HALLE, Germany (AP) Defending champion Roger Federer survived two match points against Benoit Paire to reach the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7) win on Thursday.

Paire rallied after losing the first set to take the second, and the Frenchman defended two match points at 6-5 in the decider to force a tiebreaker. Eight minutes later, it was a match point for the 48th-ranked Paire, and again when a mistake from Federer left it 7-6 in Paire’s favor.

But the top-ranked Swiss took the next three points to close the match in just under two hours at the grass-court tournament.

Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 18 matches, including his titles in Stuttgart last week and at Halle and Wimbledon last year.

Federer skipped the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row and is now just four wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass.

Federer next faces Matthew Ebden of Australia, who upset former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Also Thursday, Borna Coric defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

The Croat next faces either Florian Mayer or Andreas Seppi.

Magdalena shows form on grass in Birmingham

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BIRMINGHAM, England — Magdalena Rybarikova, who climbed almost 90 places last year to reach a career-high No. 17 in March, showed she might rise even further after rallying against Kristina Mladenovic 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals in Birmingham.

The Slovak accelerated toward victory against the former top 10 player from France with an array of slice ground strokes, clever approaches and sharp volleys. The range of shots worked excellently on the lush surface at the grass-court Nature Valley Classic and helped her take control midway through the second set.

Rybarikova last year reached the Wimbledon semifinals. She is a former champion here, winning the title in 2009.

In the first round she beat third-seeded Karolina Pliskova for the loss of only five games but found it tougher against Mladenovic.

“I started to play very well,” Rybarikova said of her improvement from the fourth game of the second set against Mladenovic. “She served great to begin with and I struggled with my returns, but I kept fighting and my game improved a lot.

“I think I’d been a bit passive. The key was when I played more cross-court slices and drops and made an early break in the second set.

“That’s the way I am trying to play on grass. I am thankful that I have the game to do that. This court here really suits my game.”

At the changeover in the fifth game of the second set, Mladenovic’s morale appeared to plunge, and afterward her error ratio rose sharply with her standard dropping significantly.

The third set of a match which lasted nearly two hours took only 22 minutes, and long before the end the outcome had ceased to be in doubt.

Rybarikova next faces Slovenian qualifier Dalila Jakupovic, who on Tuesday overcame a difference in rankings of almost 100 places and saved four match points while beating seventh-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium.

Jakupovic followed up Wednesday by getting past 18th-ranked Naomi Osaka of Japan, who recently beat four former top-ranked opponents. Osaka was forced to retired injured after losing the first set 6-3.