Veteran Verdasco advances at Rio Open; 5th seed Garin out

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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RIO DE JANEIRO — Fernando Verdasco of Spain beat Serbian Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (4), 6-3 to advance to the round of 16 of the Rio Open clay court tournament. It was the 38-year-old’s first win in an ATP 500 competition since 2019.

Verdasco, formerly a top-10 player, is now ranked 172nd after a series of injuries. He will face Argentinian Federico Coria for a place in the quarterfinals.

“It is a very important tournament for me. It had been a long time since I last could play a tournament like this because of the surgeries I had in my elbow, in my knee,” an emotional Verdasco said after the match. “I want to be back among the best, play the biggest tournaments, the Grand Slams. These weeks in South America will add a lot.”

Coria eliminated the 5th-seeded player, Christian Garin of Chile, 6-2, 6-0.

Also on Tuesday, 8th-seeded Albert Ramos Vinolas beat Argentinian Juan Londero 6-3, 6-4. The Spaniard will face his countryman Pablo Andujar in the next round.

Argentina’s Federico Delbonis topped Colombia’s Daniel Galan 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. He will face 18-year-old Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, the 29th-best ranked in the circuit.

Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, the sixth seed, beat Laslo Djere of Serbia 6-2, 6-0. His round-of-16 opponent is Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

Another Italian, Fabio Fognini, overcame Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 6-4. He will face fourth-seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday.

Brazilian fans had their share of joy after Thiago Monteiro bested Argentina’s Sebastian Baez 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. The home-crowd favorite will play against top seed Matteo Berretini of Italy, ranked No. 6.

Norway’s Casper Ruud, the 8th-best-ranked, is also playing in the tournament. He will face Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo, who beat France’s Benoit Paire 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

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

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

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

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).