Sasnovich rallies past Cornet, advances to Cleveland final

Getty Images
1 Comment

CLEVELAND — Seventh-seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich moved within one win of her first WTA Tour title, rallying to beat eighth-seeded Alize Cornet 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals at Tennis in The Land.

Sasnovich, ranked 36th in the world, won the final three games in the second set after Cornet served for the match up 5-4. She then jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third before closing out the 2-hour, 50-minute contest with a drop shot.

“When Alize had the chance to serve out the match, I was thinking, `If you are losing, lose aggressively,”‘ Sasnovich said. “I tried to do my best because that’s all you can do in that situation.”

No. 37 Cornet of France did not lose a set in her first three victories in Cleveland, which included the 500th of her career in the opening round.

Sasnovich, who advanced to her fourth career final, will play No. 45 Liudmila Samsonova for the championship.

Samsonova beat Bernarda Pera 6-1, 6-2 in just 53 minutes, allowing four total points in winning all eight of her service games. The unseeded Russian fired seven aces without a double-fault against the lone American in the semifinals.

Pera, ranked No. 51, had won career-best 13 consecutive WTA matches and claimed titles at Budapest, Hungary and Hamburg, Germany. It was her first loss since Wimbledon two months ago.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
Robert Prange/Getty Images
2 Comments

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

Getty Images
2 Comments

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.