Australia’s Purcell upsets top-seeded Monfils in Eastbourne

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EASTBOURNE, England — Max Purcell’s unlikely run continued when he reached the quarterfinals by defeating top-seeded Gael Monfils at the grass-court Viking International in Eastbourne on Wednesday.

The 283rd-ranked Australian beat the Frenchman 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 after trailing 3-0 in the deciding set to secure the biggest win of his career. It’s the first time he has made a tour-level quarterfinals in singles.

Purcell lost in the tournament’s final qualifying round but made the draw as a replacement after a withdrawal, known in tennis as a lucky loser.

“About the last nine months I’ve really been struggling to get into any singles events, it’s been primarily doubles, so to get a run here on my favorite surface is great,” the 23-year-old Purcell said on court after eliminating the 16th-ranked Monfils.

“I was lucky to be in the main draw … with that lucky loser spot, but I’m taking full advantage of it.”

Purcell next faces Andreas Seppi on Thursday for a shot at the semifinals in the Wimbledon warmup tournament. The ATP said it’s the latest that two lucky losers have met at a tour-level event since the tour started in 1990.

Purcell’s run includes an upset of 2018 Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson of South Africa. On Tuesday, he eliminated countryman James Duckworth.

“I kind of seem to pride myself on my fitness and my ability to just back up matches,” he said. “I was just going to come out and have a go.”

There were surprises on the women’s side, as well.

Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan reached the quarterfinals by beating second-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-4, 7-6 (3), Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit eliminated third-seeded Bianca Andreescu of Canada 6-3, 6-3, and Russia’s Daria Kasatkina defeated fourth-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus advanced with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Alison Riske of the United States.

CoCo Gauff fell to Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 a day after the United States teenager eliminated seventh-seeded Elise Mertens in three sets.

Jelena Ostapenko ended Ons Jabeur’s career-best six-match winning streak, defeating the Tunisian 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi advanced by beating Shelby Rogers of the United States 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Giorgi was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon in 2018.

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.

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.