Pliskova beats Wozniacki to win Doha WTA final

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DOHA, Qatar — Karolina Pliskova beat Caroline Wozniacki for the first time and won their Qatar Open final 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday.

Wozniacki won all three previous encounters in 2013 and 2014, but couldn’t hold a rally with Pliskova in the final and dropped her first sets of the week.

Pliskova won her second WTA title of the year, after Brisbane in January, and the eighth of her career. The Czech will remain No. 3 in the world rankings.

“I was waiting for a good result here because I lost three years in a row in the first or second rounds, so big step,” Pliskova said. “I’m excited to get the trophy, and finally get some new fans here.”

Wozniacki’s win-loss record in finals dropped to 25-18. She also lost the 2011 final in Doha.

“Karolina was playing really well, she deserved this one,” Wozniacki said. “But I’m going to try and get my revenge next time.”

The second-seeded Pliskova broke Wozniacki twice in charging to 4-0. The Dane fought back to trail 4-3, but lost her serve again to lose the set.

The second was much tighter. They went serve for serve until Wozniacki, on serve, fell behind 15-40 in the 10th game, and lost the first match point.

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.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

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PARMA, Italy — Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-seeded Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the opening round of the Parma Ladies Open – marking the third consecutive first-round loss for this year’s French Open semifinalist.

Third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu advanced when Viktoriya Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic beat Oceane Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Also on the red clay courts, Mayar Sherif of Egypt eliminated fifth-seeded Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated seventh-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by beating Romanian qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.