Tsitsipas beats Zverev to return to Monte Carlo final

Stefanos Tsitispas
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MONACO — Defending champion Stefanos Tsitispas breezed into the Monte Carlo Masters final after dispatching second-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-2.

Tsitsipas lined up the first big final of the clay-court season against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the Spaniard who knocked out Novak Djokovic in the second round.

Davidovich Fokina reached his first ATP final by beating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-3.

Tsitsipas dominated Zverev on clay like the Greek never had previously. Zverev recovered from a break down twice in the first set that Tsitsipas took with a third break in the 10th game.

No. 5-ranked Tsitsipas then broke twice more in the second set and improved his record against No. 3 Zverev to 7-3, on clay to 3-0. The German won both of their hard-court contests last year.

Tsitsipas was on court just 12 hours after winning a long quarterfinal.

“I had to put my soul out,” Tsitsipas said.

“I wanted to stay on the court as much as I had to, trying to start rallies and make it physical. It worked in my favor.”

The unseeded Davidovich Fokina took the first set from Dimitrov with ease, but squandered the chance at 5-4 in the second to take the semifinal in straight sets. The third set was tense. Davidovich Fokina overcame a break and 2-0 down.

“I pushed myself to the limit,” Davidovich Fokina said. “I’m glad that I pushed myself to that.”

The Spaniard will try to prevent Tsitsipas from becoming the first repeat Monte Carlo champion since Rafael Nadal in 2018. Tsitsipas has a 2-0 record against him, including in February in the Netherlands.

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).