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Potapova rallies to beat second-seeded Sevastova

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PRAGUE — Anastasia Potapova rallied to beat second-seeded Anastasija Sevastova 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 Tuesday to reach the second round of the Prague Open.

Sevastova’s loss means the tournament is already without its top two players after No. 1-seeded Karolina Pliskova withdrew because of a virus. And in another upset, wild-card entry Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated last year’s finalist, fourth-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-4, 6-2.

Third-seeded Qiang Wang is still in contention, though, after beating Margarita Gasparyan 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

In an all-American first round, unseeded Jennifer Brady came from a set down to upset fifth-seeded Danielle Collins 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 while No. 6 Katerina Siniakova eased past Dalila Jakupovic 6-0, 6-2.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova knocked out seventh-seeded Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3, 6-3 in a Slovak derby. Ninth-seeded Barbora Strycova dispatched 2017 champion Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-2.

Bernarda Pera, Jessica Pegula, Mandy Minella, Jana Cepelova, Tamara Korpatsch, Antonia Lottner, Karolina Muchova, Jil Teichmann and Natalia Vikhlyantseva also all advanced.

Wild-card entry Tipsarevic advances at Geneva Open

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GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.

Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.

Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.

Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.

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Pliskova wins Italian Open for biggest clay title of career

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ROME (AP) – Karolina Pliskova captured the biggest clay-court title of her career by beating Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 Sunday in the Italian Open final.

Adding to a very consistent year from the 2016 U.S. Open runner-up, the victory will move Pliskova up to No. 2 in the rankings and makes her one of the contenders for the French Open, which starts next weekend.

“I just hope to take the tennis I was playing here to Paris,” Pliskova said. “For sure there’s going to be a chance for me if I play this way.”

Pliskova also reached the Australian Open semifinals and the Miami Open final after opening this season with a title in Brisbane, Australia. But she lost in the second round of her previous two tournaments on clay in Stuttgart, Germany, and Madrid.

“Nobody really gave me chance for this tournament – even me,” Pliskova said. “Before the tournament, I was not super confident, not thinking about the final at all. I was just happy with every match which I played. So it’s little bit like a miracle for me.”

The unseeded Konta appeared nervous at the start, double faulting then landing a backhand into the net to hand Pliskova a break in her opening service game.

In the second set, Pliskova used a swinging forehand volley putaway to break for a 4-3 lead and never looked back.

“It’s always tough playing Karolina,” Konta said. “There’s rarely really a rhythm to the match. She plays with big shots, quite flat, and big serves. It can feel sometimes you’re fighting an uphill battle. That was the case today.”

After converting her third championship point, Pliskova went over and slapped hands with Conchita Martinez, the four-time Rome champion who she recently named her head coach. Pliskova then asked Martinez and the rest of her team to come down onto the court for her victory celebration.

“She loved clay so she knows exactly what I should do,” Pliskova said of Martinez. “There were small differences: movement, maybe to put more topspin on the balls, use drop shots – which I never use, but I start little bit, and to mix also the serves. … I know she loved this tournament. I think she prayed so I could win today.”