Thiem, Barty through to China Open finals

AP Photo
0 Comments

BEIJING — Top seeds Dominic Thiem and Ashleigh Barty are through to the finals of the China Open in Beijing.

Austrian Thiem will face Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. In the women’s tournament, Australian Barty meets two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka of Japan, who downed defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.

Thiem dropped the first set to Russia’s Karen Khachanov, but came roaring back to win 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5.

“I was disappointed to lose that set, but still I had the feeling that I’m not playing that bad. I just got a little more aggressive,” said Thiem, who ousted Andy Murray in Friday’s quarterfinals.

“I’m really proud that I was fighting like crazy through the whole match because Karen was playing exceptionally well today.”

Third-seeded Tsitsipas fought past Germany’s second-seeded Alexander Zverev 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Barty advanced with a three-set victory over Kiki Bertens. The French Open champion traded breaks of serve in the third set before beating her Dutch opponent 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7).

“The quality from both of us was exceptional at times,” said Barty, who credited new members of her backroom team and a better physical and mental outlook for the improvements she has made over the past 18 months.

“I’m pretty happy with the way I was able to fight and dig in,” she added.

Fourth-ranked Osaka came up big when it mattered by converting three of her five breakpoints, while Wozniacki went 0 for 7.

“My serve is confusing to me,” said Osaka, who eased to a 6-4, 6-2 victory and won 76 percent of her first serve points to 58 percent for the Dane. “The percentage is really low but when it goes in it’s very helpful, I would say.”

Osaka is in her second consecutive final after winning the title at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in her birthplace of Osaka, Japan.

She has said she hopes her performances on the Asian swing of the tour would dispel any doubts following what she described as a year that has been “very up and down.”

“I feel like I’m still in a way the underdog, which I really love,” Osaka said.

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.