Kyle Edmund wins amid rain delays at Auckland

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Kyle Edmund outlasted wildcard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 on Tuesday in a first-round match at the ASB Classic which stretched over almost 7-1/2 hours because of rain delays.

The pair had barely begun the center court contest at noon when steady rain forced them from the court for almost four hours. They returned sporadically through the afternoon and into the evening before Edmund, ranked 69th, finally clinched his win near 7:30 p.m.

Edmund had been dominant in the first set as Davidovich Fokina, ranked 85th and regarded as one of the potential next generation of stars on the ATP Tour, struggled to find him rhythm.

Davidovich Fokina found his way into the match in a second set punctuated by rain breaks, hitting hard from the baseline to match Edmund’s power.

The match was still in the balance when the pair went back in the early evening at the start of the third set and Edmund immediately captured the vital break. He then held on, sometimes under extreme pressure, to seal victory on his second match pint.

Davidovich Fokina revealed a wide array of shots from delicate drop shots to lobs and powerful forehands down the line. But he made a number of errors on pressure points which cost him the match.

“I had to fight a lot, dig in on a lot of points,” Edmund said. “But I’m happy. I don’t think I did too much wrong. He upped his level a lot, became very aggressive in the second and the third sets but it’s good to get a win under my belt.

“When you have a break like we did, he was finishing very well and getting on top. But coming out of that break you’ve got to stay on it and to break him at 1-0, he made unforced errors. There were small margins out there and it helped me a lot.”

Vasek Pospisil beat Jaoa Sousa 6-4, 6-2 in the only other first-round match completed early Tuesday.

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).

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

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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.