Muguruza beats Begu in Dubai round 1; Keys through

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Garbine Muguruza bounced back from her loss in the Qatar Open final with a win over Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round at the Dubai Championships, as Madison Keys and Elise Mertens also progressed.

Seeded ninth, Muguruza won 6-3, 7-5 after twice coming back from a break down in the second set and sealing the win with a four-game streak.

Muguruza was playing two days after a straight-sets loss to Petra Kvitova in the Qatar final. “It was tough because I arrived yesterday, so it was just fighting spirit,” Muguruza said. “Just trying to adapt as fast I can.”

Her second-round opponent is Amanda Anisimova after the U.S. player beat Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-2. It was Anisimova’s return to the court after she hurt her ankle in a fall and withdrew from the Qatar Open.

Keys beat Liang En-Shuo 6-1, 6-1 and held serve throughout. It was only Keys’ third match this year after she missed the Australian Open following a positive test for the coronavirus. Keys faces Anastasia Potapova in the second round.

Elise Mertens needed 2 1/2 hours to beat Viktoriya Tomova 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 despite 51 unforced errors and eight double faults. Tomova was a late replacement for Fiona Ferro, who withdrew citing fatigue after a run to the semifinals of the Lyon Open last week.

Marketa Vondrousova will play Coco Gauff in the second round after the Czech player saw off Ana Bogdan 6-4, 6-4.

Caroline Garcia upset Angelique Kerber 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the tournament on Monday after struggling with a back injury she picked up at the Qatar Open.

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).