Barty to play Goerges for Birmingham title, No. 1 spot

Getty Images
0 Comments

BIRMINGHAM, England — French Open champion Ashleigh Barty will play Julia Goerges for the Birmingham Classic title on Sunday, and clinch the world No. 1 spot if she wins.

Barty extended her winning streak to 11 games and secured her third final of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 win over two-time runner-up Barbora Strycova on Saturday.

Goerges defeated Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

Second-ranked Barty needs to win the grass-court tournament to overtake Naomi Osaka in the rankings on Monday. Osaka lost to Yulia Putintseva in the second round on Thursday and must wait to see if she’ll still be top heading into Wimbledon, which starts July 1.

Barty, who can become the first Australian female No. 1 in 43 years, says: “If I win, it’s a bonus. There are all things that come with it, but those things are certainly not what I’m worried about.”

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
Robert Prange/Getty Images
2 Comments

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

Getty Images
2 Comments

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.