Mertens, Sabalenka win U.S. Open doubles title

Getty Images
0 Comments

NEW YORK — Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka are both focused on their promising singles careers.

But if they’re going to play doubles, they may as well win a Grand Slam tournament. Mertens and Sabalenka defeated Victoria Azarenka and Ash Barty 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium to win the U.S. Open women’s doubles championship. Mertens and Sabalenka lost only one set in the tournament and won their first Grand Slam title as a team. The fourth-seeded team faced only one other seeded team on their way to the title.

“From the start of the season, start of the year actually, we were like, we’re going to play together,” Mertens said. “We didn’t think we would achieve this big thing.”

Mertens was defeated in singles play in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Bianca Andreescu.

“Even if we lose singles, and it’s always tough, we still committed to play doubles,” Mertens said. “Of course in a Grand Slam you want to win, you want to win matches. You want to win this title. So we’re just 100 percent committed to both. Of course, singles is a priority still.”

BIG DRAW

The US Open set an attendance record for the event with 737,872 fans over the two weeks of the main draw. Arthur Ashe Stadium sold out 23 of 24 sessions.

JUNIOR ACHEIVERS

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano found out winning a championship has its perks. The U.S. Open juniors champion walked into the media room and asked, “Aca se ha sentado Federer?”

Yes, Roger Federer did sit in that same seat.

Serrano took the junior singles title with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Alexandra Yepifanova.

Asked her celebratory plans, the 17-year-old out of Colombia quipped, “party.”

“No, I’m kidding. I’m not 18 yet,” she said, smiling. “I need to be 21. I need to wait a little bit. Maybe when I get back to Colombia. Party.”

Jonas Forejtek of the Czech Republic won the other junior championship on Saturday with a 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-2 victory over Emilio Nava.

WHEELCHAIR WINNERS

Alfie Hewett won his second straight wheelchair men’s title with a 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) victory over Stephane Houdet. The 48-year-old Houdet became the oldest male to play in a Grand Slam singles final.

Diede de Groot beat Yui Kamiji 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to win the women’s wheelchair Open championship.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
Robert Prange/Getty Images
3 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.