Garcia beats Pliskova to win Tianjin Open title

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TIANJIN, China — Second-seeded Caroline Garcia won her first tournament of the year with a 7-6 (7), 6-3 win over top-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

It was the 16th-ranked Garcia’s first title since she won back-to-back trophies at the Wuhan and Beijing tournaments in Asia just over a year ago.

The Frenchwoman’s two titles at the end of last season earned her a spot into the year-end WTA Finals in Singapore. This year, the victory in Tianjin is not enough to put Garcia into a second consecutive year-end final appearance.

Pliskova’s failure to take the title also kept her from confirming a berth in the WTA Finals.

Currently in eighth place in the race to Singapore, the Czech will have to wait out the results from next week’s tournaments in Luxembourg and Moscow to see if she qualifies for one of the three remaining spots. Pliskova is scheduled to play in Moscow.

American Sloane Stephens, Ukrainian Elena Svitolina and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens are the other remaining contenders for Singapore.

Garcia was down 1-5 in the first set tiebreaker before she rebounded. She saved a set point for Pliskova at 5-6 to go on to win the hour-long first set.

In the second set, Garcia raced to a 5-0 lead, and first served for the match at 5-1, but had to wait for her victory to come three games later. She secured the title with her sixth ace of the match.

Mayar Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event

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PARMA, Italy — Mayar Sherif became the first Egyptian to win a WTA Tour event by beating top-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3 at the Parma Ladies Open.

Besides earning her first career title, Sherif also notched her first win over a top-10 opponent.

Along with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals this year, Sherif is raising the profile of tennis in North Africa.

The 74th-ranked Sherif actually had to win two matches on Saturday, first overcoming sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals, which were postponed a day due to rain.

The seventh-ranked Sakkari beat Danka Kovinic 7-5, 6-2 in her semifinal earlier Saturday.

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

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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 the final.

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

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) 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.