Top-ranked Djokovic crushes Tsitsipas to reach Paris semis

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PARIS — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic sped into the Paris Masters semifinals by demolishing seventh-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-2 on Friday.

Djokovic, who lost to the Greek player three weeks ago in the Shanghai quarterfinals, did not concede a break point. It could have been an even quicker victory considering he led the first set 5-0, 40-0, but Tsitsipas saved three set points and held serve.

The four-time champion broke Tsitsipas in the third game of the second set, then held and broke to love for 4-1. Tsitsipas, who dropped his serve four times, appeared to hurt his left ankle when retrieving a shot near the baseline in the second set.

Serving for the match, Djokovic clinched it on his first match point when Tsitsipas whipped a forehand long following a short rally.

Djokovic, last year’s runner-up, is bidding for the year-ending No. 1 ranking. He next plays U.S. Open semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov, and leads the unseeded Bulgarian 8-1 in their career meetings with the only defeat coming on outdoor clay six years ago.

Dimitrov reached his second semifinal this season by beating Cristian Garin 6-2, 7-5, dropping his serve twice and breaking the Chilean’s five times.

Later Friday, Nadal faced 2008 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Denis Shapovalov played Gael Monfils, who will secure a place in the season-ending ATP Finals in London if he wins.

Nadal is guaranteed to finish the year as No. 1 if he wins the Paris Masters for the first time.

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 Saturday’s final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Saturday 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.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
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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).