BERLIN – Coco Gauff reached the semifinals on grass for the first time after beating Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-4 at the Berlin Open to set up a match with Ons Jabeur.
Already in uncharted territory in her first quarterfinal on grass, the 18-year-old French Open finalist had to fight back from 2-0 down at the start of each set against an opponent who was the Wimbledon runner-up last year.
Gauff said she needed some time to find her rhythm and found the answer by mixing up her shots to include more slices.
“It was really tough to be honest. I had to come up with a couple different game styles that I normally don’t use, but sometimes it’s like that,” she said.
Pliskova missed out on what would have been her first final since August. The Czech player missed the first two months of this season when she broke her arm in an accident while training in the gym.
Fourth-ranked Jabeur won against Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals.
In the other half of the draw, sixth-ranked Maria Sakkari is another first-time semifinalist on grass following her quickfire 6-0, 6-3 win over French Open semifinalist Daria Kasatkina.
Kasatkina dropped the first set in her previous two matches in Berlin this week before comeback wins but couldn’t find a way back against Sakkari’s power hitting.
“I’m very pleased that I had the right game plan. I went for it, I was very aggressive and I really enjoyed it,” said Sakkari, who has won three straight matches for the first time since March and her run to the Indian Wells final.
The Greek player will face Belinda Bencic in the semifinals after she beat Veronika Kudermetova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.
The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.
He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.
The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.
“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”
Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”