Naomi Osaka will take part in the Western & Southern Open semi-finals after reversing her decision to withdraw from the tournament in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

Petra Martic admitted to feeling more nervous than usual in her first outing at the Palermo Open, though she had little need to worry as she brushed aside Alison Van Uytvanck.

Martic – the tournament's top seed – triumphed 6-0 6-3 in just over an hour as she played for the first time since February, the WTA Tour having been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The clay-court event in Italy has seen action resume on the Tour, though world number two Simona Halep withdrew before the event started due to travel concerns.

Her absence is a boost for Martic's hopes of success, with the Croatian showing few signs of rustiness against Van Uytvanck.

"I think I felt my nerves a little bit more, because the break was so long," Martic told media via video chat.

"It's such a big uncertainty going on the court not knowing how you're going to be.

"I played well before the break, so I was happy with the rhythm, but obviously five months off disrupts everything. Once the match started, I kind of let go and just played."

Anett Kontaveit also progressed in straight sets, the fourth seed winning the final six games to record a 6-3 6-3 victory over Patricia Maria Tig in a late finish.

However, there were some big-name casualties on Tuesday.

Marketa Vondrousova won the opening set with ease, yet the second seed slipped up after such an impressive start, serving up double faults during her 1-6 7-5 6-4 defeat to Kaja Juvan.

Elise Mertens, the fifth seed, is also out. The Belgian went down 6-4 6-1 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Aryna Sabalenka defeated her regular doubles partner Elise Mertens in a fraught WTA Elite Trophy group decider.

With victory for either player enough to guarantee progression to the semi-finals, fourth seed Sabalenka came out on top 6-4 3-6 7-5 to ensure her place at the top of the Rose Group.

The US Open doubles champions have been at the top of their games in the pairs this season and both players took that form into Friday's encounter in Zhuhai.

Following a two-hour and 20-minute slog, Sabalenka clinched victory with a third match point when Mertens sent a backhand return looping into the net after the Belarusian had broken her serve at the culmination of a thrilling rally in the previous game.

Sabalenka will face Karolina Muchova for a place in the final, with the Czech having overcome Sofia Kenin 6-4 4-6 6-3.

After being broken twice to allow Kenin to level the match in the second set, 23-year-old Muchova rallied in the decider, serving out a victory which saw her top the Camellia Group.

In the Orchid Group, Zheng Saisai scraped through to the last four despite a 6-4 6-3 defeat to fifth seed Petra Martic.

Zheng knew she would progress even with a defeat, as long as she won seven games against her Croatian opponent.

The world number 40 managed it in dramatic fashion, clawing back a break point to make it 4-3 in set two and guarantee her semi-final spot.

Debutant Dayana Yastremska knocked Donna Vekic out of the WTA Elite Trophy and Maria Sakkari was eliminated by Elise Mertens on Wednesday.

Yastremska, the youngest player in the tournament at the age of 19, won her Azalea Group opener 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in Zhuhai.

The Ukrainian teenager unleashed a barrage of ferocious forehand winners in a high-quality contest, which proved to be Vekic's last of the season.

Rising star Yastremska rallied from 5-3 down in the tie-break after the pair could only force three break points between them in a serve-dominated first set.

Vekic did her best to withstand the force of the 10th seed in the second, but a fierce forehand winner put Yastremska a break up and a potent backhand return made it 5-2.

Yastremska served out the match and will face top seed Kiki Bertens for a place in the semi-finals.

Mertens earlier sent Sakkari out with a 6-2 3-6 6-1 victory in the Rose Group.

Sixth seed Mertens will face her doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka with a place in the last four on the line after beating Sakkari for the first time in five years.

Mertens won four games in a row in the final set to send Sakkari packing.

Sofia Kenin won the final match of the day, starting the tournament with a 6-4 6-4 success over fellow American Alison Riske.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.