Pavlyuchenkova eases into second round at Pan Pacific Open

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OSAKA, Japan — Former finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova needed less than an hour to beat Dayana Yastremska 6-3, 6-1 on Monday in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

Pavlyuchenkova, who lost the 2017 final to Caroline Wozniacki, went on a roll early in the second set to win 11 of the first 12 points and took a 4-0 lead before dropping serve. She broke at love in Yastremska’s next service game and quickly confirmed a spot in the second round against second-seeded Kiki Bertens.

In other first-round matches, Elise Mertens beat Whitney Osuigwe 6-3, 6-1; Nicole Gibbs upset fellow American Alison Riske 6-4, 6-3; Zarina Diyas had a 6-0, 6-3 win over Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig; and Camila Giorgi held off qualifier Han Xinyun 7-6 (6), 6-1.

Viktoriya Tomova needed 2 hours, 43 minutes to overcome Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

At the Korea Open in Seoul, second-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova opened with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen.

Alexandrova, who had nine aces and broke Minnen’s serve four times, will next play Kristyna Pliskova, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Korean wildcard entry Choi Ji-hee.

Other seeded players advancing included No. 3 Magda Linette, who beat Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-4, No. 7 Margarita Gasparyan and No. 8 Wang Yafan.

At the Ghangzhou International in China, two seeded players were ousted on Monday, with 2017 finalist Aleksandra Krunic beating No. 7 Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 6-2 and Bernarda Pera advancing 6-4, 6-3 over eighth-seeded Ons Jabeur.

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.