Del Potro tops Zverev to secure Shanghai quarterfinal

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SHANGHAI (AP) Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals by overcoming third-seeded Alexander Zverev 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Thursday.

Del Potro required four match points – two on Zverev’s serve in the ninth game, two on his own serve in the 10th – to win this first encounter career against the German.

Del Potro, who lost his serve for the only time in the match in the second game, won nine of his 15 service games at love.

“I’m happy with my success as I played one of the good guys on tour, he’s been playing so good this season,” del Potro said. “This was a positive for me looking to the future.”

Zverev, who was in the hunt for a sixth ATP title of the season, lost his composure after netting a backhand to surrender his serve in the fifth game of the third set to the Argentine.

Zverev whacked his racket on the court. That didn’t satisfy his anger so he kept smashing the racket courtside until it was a mangled mess.

“For me, it’s impossible to lose a match when I’ve only been broken one time,” Zverev said. “The game where he broke me I was up 40-15 and I was just unfocused there.”

Del Potro, a 2013 Shanghai finalist, was aware he made a likely permanent impact by breaking Zverev’s serve.

“I saw his frustration, for sure,” he said. “He’s still very young and has to keep learning. He has everything to be in the top of the game.”

Earlier, sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria got past Sam Querrey of the U.S. 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the round of 16. Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic defeated another American, Steve Johnson, 7-6 (1), 6-4.

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.