Bautista Agut wins in Dubai for 2nd ATP title of the year

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain earned his second ATP title of the year when he beat Lucas Pouille of France 6-3, 6-4 in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.

The third-seeded Bautista Agut denied the second-seeded Pouille his own second title this year and a chance to break into the top-10 rankings for the first time.

Pouille, the winner in Montpellier and runner-up last week in Marseille, looked out of steam in the final. Also, his last three matches were all three-setters.

Bautista Agut came to Dubai on a three-match losing streak after winning in Auckland in January. He was stoic in the final, converting three of his nine break chances, and dropping serve only once.

Of his eight career titles, “It is my best win,” he said.

He broke in the fourth game for the first set.

In the second, Pouille led 3-1 but lapsed back into errors and making less than half of his first serves. Bautista Agut broke straight back, and again in the ninth game and served out.

“I didn’t give him all the court, all the control of the game,” Bautista Agut said. “I was mentally strong. I could come back into the match playing very good tennis (in the second set).”

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

parma ladies open
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PARMA, Italy — The semifinals of the Parma Ladies Open have been postponed by a day and will be played shortly before Saturday’s final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Saturday before sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan’s match against Mayar Sherif.

The final will be after 6 p.m. local time, shortly after the doubles final – with the doubles semifinals also being played earlier in the day on a different court.

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).