Iga Swiatek spoils Paula Badosa’s birthday at WTA Finals

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Iga Swiatek departed the WTA Finals with a win after spoiling Paula Badosa’s birthday 7-5, 6-4.

The Polish player couldn’t advance from her group after losing her first two singles but got to finish her two-title season with a smile. She also ended Badosa’s eight-match winning streak.

Swiatek, the youngest player at 20 in the eight-women field, came from a break down in each set.

“I think it was a really solid match from me. I’m pretty happy that I had a chance to show my tennis finally, overcome all these factors around, just play the game”, said Swiatek. “For sure this tournament was special. Playing three days with such high-quality players, it’s hard. I hope my next time is going to be a little bit more lucky for me”.

Badosa, 24 on Monday, had already qualified first in their group and will face Spanish compatriot Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals.

“I was quite focused, thinking about the match I have tomorrow. It’s an important one”, said Badosa, who is looking forward to facing Muguruza, a player she used to idolize. “I think it’s amazing to have two Spanish players. For me it was already a dream to be here, so you can imagine how I feel to play the semifinals and against her”.

Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari played the late match on Monday, with the winner going to the semifinals to face Anett Kontaveit.

The semifinals are on Tuesday and the final is set for Wednesday at Centro Panamericano de Tenis in Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara.

Swiatek lost her only previous meeting with Badosa in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics.

Badosa won the first titles of her career this year in Belgrade and Indian Wells, and is among six players to have made their top-10 debut this season.

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.