Ekaterina Alexandrova wins as Russians lead the way in St. Petersburg

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Margarita Gasparyan and Daria Kasatkina both won in the Round of 16 as a record seven Russian players made the quarterfinals of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

The eighth-seeded Kasatkina beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (2) and Gasparyan ousted Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 to give Russia a clean sweep of all four matches played.

Three other Russians advanced, giving the country seven players in the quarterfinals of a tournament for the first time. The WTA Tour said the last time seven players from one country reached the last eight of a tour-level event was in 1993, when seven Americans were in the Oakland quarterfinals.

The other two matches were all-Russian affairs.

Anastasia Gasanova rallied to beat fifth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4) despite being ranked 196 places lower at 241st. Second-seeded Veronika Kudermetova needed nearly three hours to overcome Kamilla Rakhimova 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Top-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova, Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced. The sole non-Russian player in the last eight is Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

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PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”