Wozniacki beats Sabalenka for second Eastbourne title

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EASTBOURNE, England — Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki won the Eastbourne International final for the second time on Saturday, beating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in straight sets for her 29th career title.

Wozniacki, who was runner-up last year, triumphed 7-5, 7-6 (5) in just under two hours, sealing the match with a backhand down the line.

Second-ranked Wozniacki was made to work by No. 45 Sabalenka, and had to save two set points in the opening set.

Wozniacki also had to recover from a break down in both sets before securing a repeat of her 2009 success.

The Danish player struggled at the beginning, saving four break points in the first game, but Sabalenka managed to break to love at her next opportunity.

Although Wozniacki broke straight back, she immediately dropped her serve again to hand Sabalenka the initiative.

But Wozniacki saved two set points and broke again when Sabalenka was serving for the set. That changed the dynamic and Wozniacki held serve before breaking to love and securing the set with a backhand.

There were another three breaks of serve at the start of the second set as Sabalenka took an early lead but Wozniacki broke back again in the sixth game to level.

Sabalenka broke again to leave her serving for the set but Wozniacki broke back to love.

The two went toe-to-toe until the tiebreaker where Sabalenka went 5-2 up but Wozniacki reeled off five successive points to triumph.

Lukas Lacko plays Mischa Zverev in the men’s final later.

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.