Medvedev to meet Herbert in Open 13 final

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MARSEILLE, France — Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev will bid for his 10th career title when he meets unseeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert in an unusual-looking Open 13 final.

Sunday’s decider pits two-time Grand Slam runner-up Medvedev against a player who owns all four majors in doubles but has never won a singles title, and is ranked 93rd.

Medvedev, who climbs to No. 2 in the rankings next week, led 6-4, 3-0 against qualifier Matthew Ebden when the Australian retired through an unspecified injury on Saturday.

“Really unfortunate to end the match like this. I knew that even with an injury I had to just continue playing, trying to win,” Medvedev said. “You cannot give easy points just because he’s injured. So I really sorry for him, hopefully he can recover fast and it’s nothing serious.”

Boosted by his win over second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday, Herbert brushed aside fourth-seeded Ugo Humbert 6-3, 6-2. He had nine aces and did not face a single break point in their all-French match.

The surprise final is a result of Herbert’s largely unexpected run. He beat former No.4-ranked Kei Nishikori earlier this week at the indoor tournament.

Medvedev, however, is heavy favorite considering that the Australian Open runner-up’s victory on Saturday means he has won 22 of his last 24 matches.

But Herbert’s serve-and-volley style could cause him some problems.

The 287th-ranked Ebden – the lowest ranked semifinalist in the tournament’s 28-year-history – disturbed Medvedev’s rhythm at times and Medvedev had to save three break points in the first set.

“He’s a tough opponent to play, he does serve and volley, he plays (with) no rhythm, so that’s why it’s tough to say if I played well or not,” Medvedev said. “But looking forward for tomorrow. Luckily this time no crowd, because a final against a French guy in Marseille with a crowd would be not an easy challenge.”

When he climbs to No. 2 on Monday, Medvedev will be the first player outside the Big Four of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to do so since Nadal in July 2005.

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.