Serena, Coco, Novak, Rafa on entry lists for U.S. Open tuneup

AP Photo
2 Comments

NEW YORK — Serena Williams, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were on Wednesday’s initial entry lists – but No. 1 woman Ash Barty, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu were not – for the tournament moved from Cincinnati to Flushing Meadows next month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Western & Southern Open is scheduled for Aug. 20-28 on the same hard courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that are slated to host the U.S. Open from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13.

The U.S. Tennis Association is planning to stage the two tournaments back-to-back in New York while the coronavirus outbreak worsens in other parts of the country and there are lingering questions about international travel.

Both defending champions at the Cincinnati event are entered this year: Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in last year’s U.S. Open final, and Madison Keys.

Just because a player is on Wednesday’s lists does not mean she or he necessarily will compete at the tournament.

No sanctioned professional tennis events have been played since March because of the coronavirus. Both the women’s and men’s tours plan to return in August, but the tentative calendars drawn up for the rest of 2020 already have seen cancellations.

That includes what was supposed to be the first men’s tournament back, in Washington in August.

The women’s tour still aims to return next week at Palermo, Italy.

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.