Belinda Bencic rallies to advance in Chicago

Getty Images
2 Comments

CHICAGO — Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic overcame 10 double-faults and some first-set frustration to grab 12 of the last 13 games against qualifier Maddison Inglis and reach the third round of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic.

The third-seeded Bencic got past 130th-ranked Inglis 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 at a hard-court tournament that was added to the WTA schedule after the tour swing in Asia was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In other results, Tereza Martincova eliminated No. 13 seed and French Open semifinalist Tamara Zidansek 6-2, 6-5, No. 5 seed Elena Rybakina defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 6-4, and Elena-Gabriela Ruse beat qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 7-5, 6-2. Martincova faces Bencic next.

Anett Kontaveit, who was seeded 11th in Chicago and coming off her third career title, a victory Sunday in the Czech Republic, pulled out before her second-round match against qualifier Mai Hontama because of an injured left thigh.

Bencic was a semifinalist at the 2019 U.S. Open and a quarterfinalist there this month, when she lost to eventual champion Emma Raducanu. Bencic was a point from leading 5-2 and serving for the opening set before Inglis – who was seeking to win consecutive tour-level matches for the first time – reeled off five of six games.

At 5-all, after Bencic argued briefly with the chair umpire about overruling line calls, Ingils took the next point with a net-cord winner. Bencic spun around and threw her racket to the wall behind the baseline.

In the next game, Ingils broke to take the set with the help of a pair of Bencic’s double-faults, including on the last point.

But after making 21 unforced errors in that set, Bencic cleaned up her strokes the rest of the way and took advantage of some shaky serving by Ingils.

Mayar Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event

Getty Images
1 Comment

PARMA, Italy — Mayar Sherif became the first Egyptian to win a WTA Tour event by beating top-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3 at the Parma Ladies Open.

Besides earning her first career title, Sherif also notched her first win over a top-10 opponent.

Along with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals this year, Sherif is raising the profile of tennis in North Africa.

The 74th-ranked Sherif actually had to win two matches on Saturday, first overcoming sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals, which were postponed a day due to rain.

The seventh-ranked Sakkari beat Danka Kovinic 7-5, 6-2 in her semifinal earlier Saturday.

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

parma ladies open
Valerio Origo/Getty Images
3 Comments

PARMA, Italy — The semifinals of the Parma Ladies Open have been postponed by a day and will be played shortly before the final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) 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.