Elena Rybakina overcame jet lag to gain revenge on Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round of the Internazionali d'Italia.

The 10th seed coasted to a 6-0 6-4 triumph in Rome despite struggling with tiredness, having only recently arrived in Italy after her second-round loss to Shelby Rogers at the US Open.

Monday's victory was particularly sweet for the Kazakh, who had already suffered two defeats to Alexandrova in 2020.

"It was not easy because I just came from America and I'm jet lagged," said Rybakina.

"I had one week to prepare on clay and it's not enough, usually it takes a longer time – but we have to adjust.

"But I'm happy to play matches, and the more I play the better for me. Every match I will find my rhythm and also move better on clay, because it's completely different [to hard courts]."

The 21-year-old was not the only seed to enjoy a straight-sets success, with US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens (11) defeating Hsieh Su-wei 6-3 6-1.

A couple of seeds bit the dust as Alison Riske (13) fell to a 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 loss against Aliona Bolsova, while 16th seed Donna Vekic was beaten 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6) by Amanda Anisimova.

Top seed Simona Halep learned who she will face in the second round, with home hope Jasmine Paolini getting the honour after the wildcard saw off Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-3.

Second seed Petra Martic was eliminated from the Prague Open in a straight-sets defeat to Kristyna Pliskova, but Elise Mertens booked her place in the quarter-finals.

World number 69 Pliskova struck 28 winners to 13 unforced errors on home soil as she secured a 6-1 7-5 victory in one hour and 22 minutes.

The Czech wrapped up the opening set in just 21 minutes and Martic paid the price for passing up two opportunities to hold serve at 5-5 in the second.

Pliskova, a runner-up in Prague in 2017, made Martic pay by serving out the match and setting up a meeting with Ana Bogdan, who got a walkover after Lesia Tsurenko withdrew prior to their match.

Mertens ensured Simona Halep is not the only seed remaining in the draw by defeating Camila Giorgi 6-4 6-2, while, in matches held over from Tuesday, Laura Siegemund and Tamara Zidansek wasted little time in wrapping up three-set victories over Mayar Sherif and Katerina Siniakova respectively.

It was not a day off for Halep, though. The Romanian joined forces with Barbora Strycova for a doubles match against Veronika Kudermetova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova that ended in a 6-3 3-6 10-8 loss.

Anett Kontaveit will tackle Fiona Ferro in Sunday's final of the Palermo Open, the first WTA tournament since March.

Kontaveit overcame top seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4, before Ferro sank Italian title hopes in Sicily with a 2-6 6-2 7-5 win over Camila Giorgi.

Fourth seed Kontaveit is ranked seven places below world number 15 Martic and she won impressively in an hour and 29 minutes.

The Estonian will be targeting just a second career singles title and a first on clay, having previously won on grass in 2017 at Rosmalen.

She said: "I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I'm happy to be in the final."

Martic called the match "a tough one" and spoke of missing chances to make the scoreline tighter than it became.

Ferro and Giorgi slugged it out for two hours and six minutes before their clash produced a finalist, with the home player falling agonisingly short.

World number 53 Ferro go after her second WTA title. Her first also came on clay at Lausanne in July last year.

The 2020 tennis season was suspended for almost five months amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the women's tour has returned with fans in Italy, socially-distanced crowds having been in attendance all week in Palermo

Petra Martic and Anett Kontaveit set up a Palermo Ladies Open semi-final clash with hard-fought wins on Friday.

Top seed Martic battled past qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) in their quarter-final.

The Croatian converted four of seven break points and saved seven of 11 to advance at the WTA International event, which marks the first tournament back after the coronavirus-enforced break.

Martic will meet Kontaveit, who beat teenage wildcard Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1 4-6 6-1.

Unseeded pair Camila Giorgi and Fiona Ferro will meet in the other semi-final.

Giorgi got past seventh seed Dayana Yastremska 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 after saving two match points, while Ferro brushed past Italian veteran Sara Errani 6-4 6-1.

Petra Martic and Anett Kontaveit battled into the Palermo Ladies Open quarter-finals, while Dayana Yastremska cruised through.

Martic, the top seed at the WTA International event that marks the return of the Tour amid the coronavirus pandemic, overcame Liudmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2.

Croatian Martic, the world number 15, needed two and a half hours to get past the qualifier in Italy on Thursday.

She will face Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the last eight.

Kontaveit was also pushed before recording a 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory over Laura Siegemund.

Yastremska and Camila Giorgi will meet in a quarter-final after respective wins over Oceane Dodin and Kaja Juvan.

Talented Ukrainian seventh seed Yastremska was too good for Dodin 6-2 6-4, while Giorgi beat Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin eased into the last 16 of the Lyon Open on Wednesday, but Alize Cornet let a lead slip to crash out.

Kenin is the top seed in France this week and belatedly secured her first WTA Tour victory since a major breakthrough in Melbourne.

The American had fallen at the first hurdle in both Qatar and Dubai in recent weeks, but she had no such troubles against Vitalia Diatchenko, advancing 6-4 6-3.

A pair of early breaks in the opener saw Kenin into a 4-1 lead, although opportunities for both players punctuated the contest.

The second set began with three straight games going against the serve, before Kenin settled the match at the second attempt with her sixth successful break point from 18 attempts.

Back on the winning trail, Kenin levelled her career record against Diatchenko at 1-1 after a second-round defeat at Wimbledon in 2018.

The only other round-of-32 clash on Wednesday saw France's Oceane Dodin overcome Mandy Minella in straight sets.

Meanwhile, Kenin's fellow seeds Caroline Garcia - a 7-5 6-2 winner against Ysaline Bonaventure - and Alison Van Uytvanck - triumphing over Viktoriya Tomova - enjoyed victories as they played last-16 matches.

But home hopeful Cornet fell short of the quarter-finals in a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 reverse at the hands of Camila Giorgi.

Cornet led by a mini-break three times in the second-set tie-break, before Giorgi edged her opponent out and then dominated the decider.

Kristina Mladenovic overcame a poor start to beat wildcard Chloe Paquet in an all-French first-round encounter at the Lyon Open on Tuesday.

Mladenovic racked up 14 double faults but stormed back to beat her 166-ranked compatriot 1-6 6-2 6-4.

Half of those double faults came in a one-sided opening set, which Mladenovic put behind her to seal victory in two hours and 12 minutes.

The second seed, who will now face Anna-Lena Friedsam, said: "It was definitely not an easy match to face a countrywoman and also a friend, even though I don't know as much about her in the tennis - like, how she plays.

"It's never easy to start a tournament and we never played each other before, so it wasn't easy.

"It was very far from perfect but I'm just pleased with how I stayed calm and composed and how I fought through to find solutions to get the win."

There were no surprises on the second day of main-draw matches, with seventh seed Daria Kasatkina defeating Pauline Parmentier 6-2 5-7 6-4.

Jil Teichmann dumped out Clara Burel 6-4 6-3, while Viktoria Kuzmova, Camila Giorgi, Tereza Martincova and Viktoriya Tomova also progressed.

 

 

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