Vandeweghe Opens WTA Elite Trophy with win

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ZHUHAI, China — Second-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe has opened the WTA Elite Trophy tournament with a comeback 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Chinese wild-card entry Peng Shuai.

Vandeweghe overcame a slow start and two service breaks in the first set Tuesday, recovering to finish with six aces and convert five of her eight breakpoint chances against Peng in the Bougainvillea group.

“The match was very difficult for me. I wasn’t really making good contact with the ball, wasn’t really making enough balls in court, and I was just very sloppy at the start,” Vandeweghe said. “That allowed her to start well into the match, and I just had to keep fighting my way back.”

Seventh-seeded Julia Goerges opened with a 6-1, 7-6 (5) win over No. 10 Magdalena Rybarakova in the Azalea group.

The tournament in Zhuhai features the leading players on the women’s tour who didn’t qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore last week, in addition to the wildcard awarded to Peng. The 12-player draw is divided into four groups.

Angelique Kerber, who finished 2016 at No. 1 in the rankings, was playing fourth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuenkova in a night match in the Rose group.

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.