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Williams sisters win to set up clash at Indian Wells

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Serena Williams and sister Venus won at the BNP Paribas Open to set up a third-round clash in the desert tournament.

Serena got by No. 29 seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the second round on Saturday in her return from a 14-month absence after giving birth to her first child. Venus preceded her younger sister on the stadium court and beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3, 6-4.

The sisters will resume their longtime rivalry on Monday. Serena leads Venus 17-11 all-time and has won eight of their last nine meetings, most recently the Australian Open final last year.

Wild card Danielle Collins defeated U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys 6-3, 7-6 (1) to continue a string of upsets.

Keys hasn’t made it past the fourth round at Indian Wells in eight tries. The No. 15 seed was mistake-prone throughout the second-round match, committing five unforced errors in the tiebreaker.

Collins, ranked 116th and making her first appearance in the main draw, is just starting her second year on the WTA Tour.

She joined American upset winners Sachia Vickery, who beat No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza; 16-year-old wild card Amanda Anisimova, who beat No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; and wild-card teenager Caroline Dolehide, a three-set winner over No. 30 Dominika Cibulkova on Friday.

In other matches Saturday, defending champion Elena Vesnina eliminated American CiCi Bellis 2-6, 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina beat Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-3; No. 12 Julia Georges defeated Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-4, 6-1; No. 27 Carla Suarez Navarro beat Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; and No. 26 Daria Gavrilova dismissed Yanina Wickmayer 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Two seeded players lost: No. 18 Magdalena Rybarikova and No. 28 Anett Kontaveit.

On the men’s side, fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem fired 10 aces to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; No. 7 Kevin Anderson defeated Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-4; and No. 12 Tomas Berdych rolled past German Maximilian Marterer 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.

No. 30 Pablo Cuevas beat Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (4), 6-3.

No. 16 Fabio Fognini was beaten by Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

 

Federer again pushed hard, advances to Halle semifinals

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HALLE, Germany (AP) Defending champion Roger Federer defeated Matthew Ebden 7-6 (2), 7-5 to reach the semifinals of the grass-court Gerry Weber Open on Friday.

Federer was made to work hard by Ebden, who saved five of the eight break points he faced and was leading 5-3 in the second set.

Federer, who saved two match points against Benoit Paire in the second round the day before, recovered to go 6-5 up and then broke Ebden to take his first match point for a meeting with American qualifier Denis Kudla.

Kudla earlier defeated Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 7-5 to book his semifinal place.

Federer, who won his 18th grass-court title in Stuttgart on Sunday, is just three match wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass.

Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 19 including the Stuttgart title and last year’s titles in Halle and Wimbledon. He is bidding for a record-extending 10th trophy in Halle.

Federer survives scare to advance in Halle

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HALLE, Germany (AP) Defending champion Roger Federer survived two match points against Benoit Paire to reach the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7) win on Thursday.

Paire rallied after losing the first set to take the second, and the Frenchman defended two match points at 6-5 in the decider to force a tiebreaker. Eight minutes later, it was a match point for the 48th-ranked Paire, and again when a mistake from Federer left it 7-6 in Paire’s favor.

But the top-ranked Swiss took the next three points to close the match in just under two hours at the grass-court tournament.

Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 18 matches, including his titles in Stuttgart last week and at Halle and Wimbledon last year.

Federer skipped the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row and is now just four wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass.

Federer next faces Matthew Ebden of Australia, who upset former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Also Thursday, Borna Coric defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

The Croat next faces either Florian Mayer or Andreas Seppi.