Barty advances to Wuhan quarterfinals

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WUHAN, China — Top-ranked Ash Barty advanced to the Wuhan Open quarterfinals for the third straight year with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Sofia Kenin on Wednesday.

Barty fell behind 5-3 in the second set but saved two set points against her American opponent and won four straight games to avoid a third set.

“I had a period in the second set where I let her see far too many second serves, she was able to take advantage of that,” said Barty. “In the end, I’m really happy with how I was a bit more aggressive towards the end of the second set and closed it out in straight sets.”

The Australian will next face Petra Martic, who beat Veronika Kudermetova of Russia 6-3, 6-1.

Third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine defeated two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-2.

Despite hitting fewer winners than the Russian, Svitolina had just 15 unforced errors, compared to her opponent’s 33.

“Today I think it was a lot about tactics. Just tried to keep the ball out of the middle, try to work with the ball, try to get the angles and don’t rush,” said Svitolina

Svitolina plays Alison Riske of the United States in the quarterfinals, who ousted eighth-seeded Qiang Wang 6-2, 6-1.

In the first match of the day, Elena Rybakina advanced after Wimbledon champion Simona Halep withdrew with a lower back injury. Halep was trailing 5-4 in the first set.

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka beat sixth-seeded Kiki Bertens 6-1, 7-6 (9) to reach the last eight.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.