Petra Martić, Anett Kontaveit reach Palermo Open semifinals

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PALERMO, Sicily — Top-seeded Petra Martić and fourth-seeded Anett Kontaveit advanced to the semifinals of the first tour-level event in five months at the Palermo Ladies Open on Friday.

Martić beat qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) then Kontaveit defeated Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

The other semifinal will feature Fiona Ferro of France against local favorite Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Ferro eliminated two-time Palermo champion Sara Errani 6-4, 6-1; and Giorgi saved two match points in the second set before rallying past seventh-seeded Dayana Yastremska 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 after nearly three hours.

Martić was coming off a three-set win a day earlier.

“I had two tough matches and my body’s holding up well,” Martić said. “I have no major issues … just maybe soreness that I’m sure we all have in the first tournament back.

“It feels nice to be reminded of how it feels to be that kind of tired. But all in all I’m happy. I had some good weeks of practice and it’s paying off.”

Kontaveit said she was looking forward to facing Martić.

“I was doing fitness for a long time,” Kontaveit said of the break due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I started playing a lot of tennis 1 ½ months ago.”

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.