CHARLESTON, S.C. — Defending champion Kiki Bertens and third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, both among the top 10 players in the world, lost Thursday at the Volvo Car Open.
Bertens, the second seed of the Netherlands who’s No. 6 in the WTA rankings, fell to 15th-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-6 (8), 6-3. Sabalenka, the world’s 10th ranked player from Belarus, was defeated by Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-2, 7-5 at the season’s first clay-court event.
American Sloane Stephens, the top seed and highest ranked player remaining in the field at No. 8, faces 14th-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia for a spot in the quarterfinals in a later match.
Others advancing to the final eight were No. 5 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, No. 9 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, the 11th-seeded American Danielle Collins and 16th-seeded Petra Martic of Croatia.
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, 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.