Muguruza beats Sabalenka at Qatar Open, Svitolina wins

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DOHA, Qatar — Garbine Muguruza outlasted third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in a close second-round match at the Qatar Open, while top-seeded Elina Svitolina eased into the quarterfinals.

Muguruza won 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 after she served for the match at 6-5 in the second set before Sabalenka broke her serve and won the following tiebreaker.

“I just fight and stay there and keep thinking that I’m going to win,” Muguruza said. “If I have an opponent that is playing great, I have to play better.”

The 16th-ranked Spanish player will face Maria Sakkari of Greece in the quarterfinals. Sakkari won 6-2, 6-2 against Madison Keys in what was the American’s second match since returning to the tour after missing the Australian Open with the coronavirus.

Svitolina cruised through her match against Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-2. Svitolina was playing for the first time since a fourth-round loss at the Australian Open on Feb. 15, while Doi was on her fifth match in as many days after coming through qualifying. Svitolina’s quarterfinal opponent is Victoria Azarenka, who beat Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-2.

Karolina Pliskova, seeded second, won 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 against Ons Jabeur to move to a 5-3 record in 2021 after a subdued start to the year including a third-round defeat to fellow Czech Karolina Muchova at the Australian Open. Next up for Pliskova is Australian Open quarterfinalist Jessica Pegula of the United States, who eliminated former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 7-5.

Fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova prevailed 6-1, 6-3 in her second-round match with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after coming back from 3-1 down in the second set. Kvitova next plays Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit and will aim to win back-to-back matches for the first time in 2021.

Fresh off defeating Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady in the first round, Kontaveit followed up with a 6-1, 6-4 win over three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

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PARMA, Italy — Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-seeded Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the opening round of the Parma Ladies Open – marking the third consecutive first-round loss for this year’s French Open semifinalist.

Third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu advanced when Viktoriya Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic beat Oceane Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Also on the red clay courts, Mayar Sherif of Egypt eliminated fifth-seeded Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated seventh-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by beating Romanian qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.

Nakashima takes first ATP Tour title at San Diego

San Diego Open - Finals
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SAN DIEGO – Brandon Nakashima earned his first ATP Tour victory in his hometown, beating friend and fellow Southern Californian Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4 in the San Diego Open final.

“It’s super-special, something you dream of, but to have it happen in my hometown with all my friends and family here, it’s a moment I’ll never forget,” said Nakashima, who had two previous finals appearances. “I hope there are many more moments like this to come.”

Nakashima, a 21-year-old who grew up in San Diego and trained extensively at the event’s site as a junior, clinched the opening set in only 30 minutes. The second set, filled with lengthy rallies, took nearly an hour.

Giron, the No. 5 seed and former NCAA title winner from UCLA, wasn’t able to fend off Nakashima’s persistent ground strokes and well-placed serves. Nakashima had eight aces, six in the first set.

Serving at 5-4 in the second set, Nakashima tallied the match’s deciding two points when Giron pushed an easy volley into the net, followed by Nakashima’s second-serve ace.

He earned $93,090, about half of what received for reaching the third round of the U.S. Open in early September.

Nakashima, who was ranked No. 69 on the ATP Tour, moved up to 48, his highest ranking in nearly three years on tour. Despite the loss, Giron moved up to 53 from 58.

Not only was the singles title claimed by an American, the doubles title also taken by an American duo as the second-seeded pair of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow defeated Australians Jason Kubler and Luke Saville 7-6 (5), 6-2.

The $612,00 event was held at Barnes Tennis Center, which next hosts the $757,900 WTA 500 San Diego Open, Oct. 8-16. That will feature 16 of the world’s top-ranked 20 women pros, led by No. 1 Iga Swiatek.