Osaka into China Open quarters; Zhang upsets Kerber

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BEIJING — Naomi Osaka maintained her strong form since winning the U.S. Open by reaching the China Open quarterfinals by crushing Julia Goerges 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday.

Osaka made a slow start, saving a break point and enduring five deuces in the eight-minute first game. But she broke Goerges’ serve in the next game and raced to 5-0.

Osaka won four consecutive points on Goerges’ serve to open the second set and rolled on.

When asked why she’s risen into the top 10 this year, Osaka said: “I think my biggest improvement is mental.

“My game is more consistent, there are not so many unforced errors. I’m not sure how many I hit today, but sometimes last year I was hitting a lot.”

In the quarterfinals, Osaka will play Zhang Shuai, who came back from a set down to defeat third-ranked Angelique Kerber 6-1, 2-6, 6-0.

This is Osaka’s second tournament since she defeated Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final on Sept. 8. In the first last week, she got to the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo.

Also, 2010 champion Caroline Wozniacki beat Anett Kontaveit 7-5, 6-4 and qualified for the WTA Finals, where she will be the defending champ.

On the men’s side, fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini downed Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-3, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary beat Marco Cecchinato of Italy 6-4, 6-2, and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-6(3), 6-4.

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.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

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PARMA, Italy — Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-seeded Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the opening round of the Parma Ladies Open – marking the third consecutive first-round loss for this year’s French Open semifinalist.

Third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu advanced when Viktoriya Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic beat Oceane Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Also on the red clay courts, Mayar Sherif of Egypt eliminated fifth-seeded Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated seventh-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by beating Romanian qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.