Medvedev beats Paire, moves into second round in Acapulco

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ACAPULCO, Mexico – Daniil Medvedev continued his pursuit of the No. 1 ranking with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Benoit Paire to move the second round at the Mexican Open.

The 26-year-old Russian can overtake Novak Djokovic and move into top spot if he wins the title here.

Medvedev, who won the 2021 U.S. Open and was a runner-up last month at the Australian Open, is playing in Mexico for the first time.

“It’s not easy to come back after some rest and some time off competition,” said Medvedev, who rallied from a break down in the second set for victory. “I managed to fight until the end against a very tough opponent and I’m happy that I managed to win.”

He’ll play either Alex Hernandez or Pablo Andujar in the next round.

If he wins this tournament, or if he reaches the Acapulco final and Djokovic does not win at Dubai, Medvedev will become the first player other than Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray to hold the top spot since 2004.

He said he’s thinking about getting to the top spot but acknowledged that it might not happen next week.

“I know that in the next three tournaments it can be a possibility and that’s why I’m going to try to do this, because it’s not a dream anymore, it’s a goal,” he said. “And I will try to play well in the next three tournaments to achieve it.”

In other matches Tuesday, Tommy Paul advanced when fifth-seeded Matteo Berrettini retired from their match in the second set because of an abdominal injury, and Yoshihito Nishioka beat Feliciano Lopez 2-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Berrettini, who reached the semifinals in the Australian Open, won the first set 6-4 but was down 5-1 in the second when he withdrew.

Paul will play Dusan Lajovic in the second round.

The Mexican Open, a 500 tournament, is played on the hard courts of the GNP Arena in Acapulco, a popular tourist destination south of Mexico City.

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

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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).