SHENZHEN, China (AP) Maria Sharapova had 11 aces and saved seven of 10 break points to beat Alison Riske 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday and advance to the Shenzhen Open quarterfinals.
The five-time major winner will next face Zarina Diyas, who upset third-seeded Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4.
“Although I would’ve wanted a quick and easy victory, these are the kind of matches that you need, especially with such a short preparation going into the Australian Open,” Sharapova said.
Earlier, Kristyna Pliskova, the twin of former No.1-ranked Karolina Pliskova, beat French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-1, 6-4.
Ostapenko, who beat Serena Williams in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, was overwhelmed by Pliskova’s powerful serves.
“I felt a bit nervous in the second set, but my serve was really working today, which was a big help,” Pliskova said.
Pliskova will next play Ana Bogdan, who beat Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-2.
Aryna Sabalenka also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Danka Kovinic, while Timea Babos defeated Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1.
STUTTGART, Germany — Matteo Berrettini beat Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6 (11) to win the Stuttgart Open and his third tour-level title on Sunday.
The Italian saved five set points in a second-set tiebreaker and clinched his first title on grass. His other titles came at Budapest in April, and Gstaad, Switzerland, last year.
The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime previously reached championship matches in Rio de Janeiro in February and the Lyon Open in May – both on clay.
Berrettini won all 50 of his service games during the week in Stuttgart. He did not face a break point against Auger-Aliassime.
Auger-Aliassime progressed to the final in his first professional grass tournament without playing Saturday as compatriot Milos Raonic withdrew ahead of their semifinal due to back problems.
NOTTINGHAM, England — Former champion Donna Vekic finally got to play on grass at the Nottingham Open on Friday but had to overcome multiple rain delays and another switch indoors before reaching the semifinals.
The second-seeded Vekic defeated Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-4 in a match played on two surfaces as rain again played havoc with the schedule.
The opening two days were completely washed out before organizers decided to switch the first and second rounds indoors as rain fell for four consecutive days.
Vekic, who won the tournament in 2017, will play Germany’s Tatjana Maria in her third straight semifinal in Nottingham. Maria earlier defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 7-6 (7) in the only match completed on grass so far at the tournament.
Also Friday, American Jennifer Brady defeated fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-3 to set up a semifinal against top-seeded Caroline Garcia.
Garcia rallied to beat Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 in the last quarterfinal.