Nadal to miss Davis Cup group stage, Djokovic leads Serbia

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LONDON – Carlos Alcaraz will lead Spain against Novak Djokovic’s Serbia next month in the Davis Cup group stage after Rafael Nadal wasn’t named to the Spanish team.

Nadal is set to return to competition at this week’s hard-court tournament in Cincinnati after an abdominal injury caused the 22-time Grand Slam champion to pull out of Wimbledon ahead of the semifinals.

The injury also kept him out of this month’s event in Montreal, another hard-court warmup event before the U.S. Open, which begins in New York on Aug. 29.

Spain and Serbia also play Canada and South Korea in Valencia, one of four European cities hosting the group stage Sept. 13-18. The other cities are Bologna, Hamburg and Glasgow.

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray will play in the tournament for the first time since 2019 after being named to Britain’s team that will face the United States, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands in Scotland.

Second-ranked Alexander Zverev, who had surgery in June to repair torn ligaments in his right ankle, will lead the German team in Hamburg against France, Belgium and Australia.

Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, will lead Croatia against Italy, Argentina and Sweden in Bologna.

The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage in Malaga on Nov. 22-27.

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.