Tianjin Open

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Aryna Sabalenka advances to second round at Tianjin Open

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TIANJIN — Aryna Sabalenka moved closer to a spot in the WTA Finals by beating Sofia Kenin in the first round of the Tianjin Open on Tuesday.

The fourth-seeded Sabalenka, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the final last year, won the Wuhan Open title two weeks ago. She also defeated Kenin en-route to that victory.

Second-seeded Caroline Garcia advanced by beating Chinese qualifier Xun Fang Ying.

Third-seeded Elise Mertens and Timea Bacsinszky also advanced. Mertens beat Zhu Lin, while Bacsinszky advanced after Danielle Collins retired from their match after losing the first set.

Pliskova advances to second round at Tianjin Open

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TIANJIN, China — Top-seeded Karolina Pliskova needed six match points to beat Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3 and advance to the second round of the Tianjin Open on Monday.

Pliskova will next face Polona Hercog, who defeated Lara Arruabarrena 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Also, Russian qualifier Veronika Kudermetova beat 2014 champion Alison Riske 5-7, 6-1, 7-5, fifth-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei beat Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (4), 7-5, and Magda Linette defeated Evgeniya Rodina 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.