Bertens beats Sabalenka, faces Vekic in St. Petersburg final
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Kiki Bertens reached her first final since September with a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Aryna Sabalenka at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Saturday, and will face Donna Vekic in the final.
The eighth-ranked Bertens broke Sabalenka's serve four times and fired in nine aces as she moved to a career 3-0 record over 10th-ranked Sabalenka.
Kvitova loses to Vekic in St Petersburg quarters
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova struggled with her serve and was eliminated from the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy after losing to eighth-seeded Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The second-ranked Kvitova landed only 48 percent of her first serves, double-faulted six times, and was broken five times.
Azarenka to play Kvitova after beating Gasparyan
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Victoria Azarenka set up a meeting with Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Tuesday after a sometimes-shaky 6-4, 6-1 win over Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan.
Azarenka, herself a two-time Australian Open champion, struggled on serve at times and gave up three breaks to Gasparyan. However, the Belarusian won six straight games from 3-4 in the first set to 3-0 in the second to get the victory.
Sharapova earns first WTA match win in Russia in 13 years
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Maria Sharapova earned her first WTA win in her native Russia for 13 years after beating Daria Gavrilova 6-0, 6-4 in the first round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Monday.
In a win which sets up a second-round match against Russian No. 1 Daria Kasatkina, Sharapova brushed aside her Australian opponent Gavrilova in the first set. Gavrilova raced to 4-2 in the second but Sharapova won four straight games and closed out the match.
Sabalenka wins Shenzhen Open, beats Riske in final
SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka got a confidence boost for the upcoming Australian Open after beating Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the Shenzhen Open final on Saturday.
"To start the season with a title, it gives you more belief in yourself, and hopefully I can do well at the Australian Open," Sabalenka said.
Sharapova retires with injury, Sabalenka reaches semifinals
SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Maria Sharapova retired from her match at the Shenzhen Open with an injury on Friday, giving top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka a spot in the tournament's semifinals.
The fifth-seeded Sharapova was trailing 6-1, 4-2 when she stopped because of a left thigh injury.
Sharapova received off-court medical treatment between the two sets.
"I think we both played well and then she got injured," Sabalenka said. "Hopefully she will get well soon."
Rain disrupts quarterfinals at Shenzhen Open
SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Rain disrupted play at the Shenzhen Open on Thursday with two quarterfinal matches suspended.
Qualifier Veronika Kudermetova was leading Vera Zvonareva 6-4 and Sorana Cirstea was leading Alison Riske 2-0 when play was stopped. The matches will resume on Friday.
In the other quarterfinal matches, top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka will take on fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova and Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu will meet Wang Yafan.
Sevastova beats Zvonareva in 3 sets at Kremlin Cup
MOSCOW (AP) — Anastasija Sevastova reached the Kremlin Cup semifinals by beating Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday.
The Latvian player said she was lucky not to lose the match after Zvonareva — once ranked second in the world but in her first tour quarterfinal since 2012 — broke her serve to level the second set at 5-5.
Pliskova and Svitolina secure spots at WTA Finals
MOSCOW (AP) — Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina secured the last two places at the season-ending WTA Finals despite neither winning a match on Wednesday.
The fifth-ranked Pliskova lost to Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-2 at the Kremlin Cup, giving the idle Svitolina a spot in the tournament in Singapore. Kiki Bertens then lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 a short time later, handing Pliskova the final spot.
Konta beats Mertens at Kremlin Cup
MOSCOW (AP) — Johanna Konta of Britain upset seventh-seeded Belgian Elise Mertens in the first round of the Kremlin Cup on Tuesday.
Making up a 30-place rankings gap to the 14th-ranked Mertens, Konta took full advantage of Mertens' wayward serving to win 6-3, 7-5.
Lapko wins, Zvonareva out at Tashkent Open
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) — Vera Lapko reached the quarterfinals of the Tashkent Open on Wednesday by beating qualifier Ivana Jorovic 6-2, 6-4.
The 19-year-old Lapko, the highest-ranked player left in the draw at 64th in the world, will next face German player Mona Barthel.
Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva, once ranked second in the world, lost to Hungarian qualifier Fanny Stollar 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Top-seeded Begu knocked out of Tashkent Open
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) — Top-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu lost in the first round at the Tashkent Open to Kateryna Kozlova on Tuesday.
Romania's Begu held serve just three times as she was swept aside 6-3, 6-2 by her Ukrainian opponent, who next plays Fiona Ferro of France.
Lisicki breaks drought with 1st-round win at Guangzhou Open
GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — Sabine Lisicki has recorded her first win since February in a WTA-level match with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over two-time Grand Slam finalist Vera Zvonareva at the Guangzhou Open.
Lisicki lost her opening service game but recovered to take a 4-1 lead before the 34-year-old Zvonareva, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010, won 12 straight points to level at 4-4. Lisicki, a Wimbledon finalist in 2013, held and then broke to seal the first set.
Williams vs. Rodina is matchup of Mom vs. Mom at Wimbledon
LONDON (AP) — When Serena Williams steps out on Centre Court to play Evgeniya Rodina in Wimbledon's fourth round on Monday, it will be a rare meeting of Mom vs. Mom.
Such matchups could happen with greater frequency as parenthood becomes increasingly popular on the women's tennis tour.
Petra Kvitova wins, Caroline Garcia out in St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Petra Kvitova advanced to the second round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Wednesday, and Caroline Garcia was eliminated.
Kvitova, playing as a wild-card entry, beat Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-0. The two-time Wimbledon champion will next play Irina-Camelia Begu.
Kvitova landed just 51 percent of her first serves, but was strong on the second serve as Vesnina failed to make an impact.
Goerges beats Sakkari in St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Julia Goerges advanced to the second round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy by beating Maria Sakkari 6-2, 7-6 (5) Tuesday.
The fifth-seeded German will next play Roberta Vinci. The veteran Italian, competing in St. Petersburg as a qualifier, beat Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2.
Bondarenko wins Tashkent for 1st singles title in 9 years
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) — Kateryna Bondarenko won her first WTA singles title in nine years Saturday after beating Timea Babos of Hungary 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Tashkent Open.
The 31-year-old Ukrainian broke once in the first set and quickly went two breaks up early in the second against Babos, who at 52nd in the world was ranked 81 places above Bondarenko.
Zvonareva falls short of final on comeback in Tashkent
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) — Former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva fell short in her bid to make a second successive WTA final on her comeback to professional tennis, retiring against Kateryna Bondarenko in the Tashkent Open semifinals on Friday.
Bondarenko was leading 7-6 (7), 4-1 when Zvonareva retired. The cause wasn't immediately clear.
Former runner-up Zvonareva advances in US Open qualifying
NEW YORK (AP) — Former U.S. Open runner-up Vera Zvonareva of Russia beat China's Xinyun Han 7-6 (4), 6-1 on Monday to advance in the qualifying rounds for this year's U.S. Open.
The 32-year-old Zvonareva has not played in the main draw of a Grand Slam event since the 2015 Australian Open. In 2010, she lost the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams and the U.S. Open final to Kim Clijsters.
Former Wimbledon finalist Zvonareva launches comeback
MOSCOW (AP) — Former Wimbledon and U.S. Open finalist Vera Zvonareva is planning a comeback.
The 32-year-old Russian is listed as an alternate for the qualifying draw of a low-level ITF tournament in Istanbul this month, two years after she last competed.
Zvonareva, a top-10 player when shoulder problems wiped out her entire 2013 season, struggled with injuries during her career.
Wozniacki to face Pliskova in rain-delayed Qatar Open final
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki will face second-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Qatar Open after both were forced to play back-to-back matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday night due to rain playing havoc the schedule.
Wozniacki swept past Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-1, 6-2 to reach her second final in Doha — six years after her first, which she lost to Vera Zvonareva.