Elena Rybakina will meet Elina Svitolina in her fifth WTA Tour final of 2020 at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

The Kazakh beat Nao Hibino 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes in the last four to reach her first final since the Tour resumed following the coronavirus pandemic.

No one has been to more WTA finals in 2020 than Rybakina, though she has only won one of her previous four - the Hobart International in January.

Hibino had knocked out Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko to reach her maiden clay-court semi-final, but this proved a step too far for the unseeded Japanese.

Svitolina made her second final of 2020 with a 6-2 4-6 6-4 triumph over Aryna Sabalenka in the other last-four meeting.

Sabalenka had completed her rain-delayed quarter-final over Katerina Siniakova across three sets earlier in the day, and that may have taken its toll in a match against Svitolina that lasted almost two hours. 

Elina Svitolina progressed to the semi-finals of the Internationaux de Strasbourg but will have to wait until Friday to find out her opponent after rain suspended play between Aryna Sabalenka and Katerina Siniakova.

Number two seed Svitolina was made to work hard for her 6-4 6-3 victory over Jil Teichmann, battling back from a break down in both sets.

The world number five took an hour and 23 minutes to secure her first semi-final for six months.

"It was a great fight from Jil and I think both of us were playing at a really good level at some points," Svitolina said.

"I was fighting. I didn't start the match very well, but I was trying to be very focused and fight back. In the end, I'm very happy with how I handled the match."

Sabalenka and Siniakova will resume their contest on Friday after the latter claimed the first set 6-2. Play was suspended due to rain with the Czech 2-1 down in the second but serving next.

The other semi-final will be contested by fifth seed Elena Rybakina, who defeated Zhang Shuai 6-3 6-2, and Nao Hibino, who ousted 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4).

Aryna Sabalenka avoided an upset by fighting back to defeat Anna Blinkova 1-6 6-4 6-2 and reach the Internationaux de Strasbourg quarter-finals.

The world number 12, this year's champion in Doha, made the last-eight stage for the first time since the WTA returned after the coronavirus shutdown having won just three matches before this week.

Katerina Siniakova awaits after the Czech upset the odds to defeat seventh seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-4.

Alexandrova defeated Siniakova when winning her first WTA singles title in Shenzhen this season but was unable to repeat the feat.

"I feel really good on clay," Siniakova said. "It was tough, it was a good match, I'm happy about it."

Nao Hibino defeated Zarina Diyas in straight sets, while third seed Kiki Bertens withdrew injured when trailing 4-2 in the decided set of her clash with Jelena Ostapenko.

Elina Svitolina battled past Magda Linette to reach the quarter-finals of the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Tuesday.

The second seed won the first set via a tie-break and came back from a double break down in the second to seal a 7-6 (7-0) 7-5 victory in an hour and 58 minutes.

Linette was just two points away from winning the opener and missed an opportunity to force a decider on set point in the second.

"It definitely was not easy. She was fighting back, she was trying to produce a good level; I was up and down," said Svitolina, who reached the quarter-finals on her return to the WTA Tour at the Internazionali d'Italia last week.

"It's not easy to come from another tournament with different balls, different conditions. I was trying just to fight and, in the end, I was lucky I finished in two sets."

Jil Teichmann awaits Svitolina in the last eight following a 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 win against 2018 champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while there were also victories for Elena Rybakina and Zhang Shuai.

Aryna Sabalenka revealed her decision not to take on Dieter Kindlmann as a coach after she cruised to a straight-sets win over Ellen Perez at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

Number four seed Sabalenka was in fine form as she made a convincing start to her campaign, taking just over an hour to beat qualifier Perez 6-4 6-3 and move into the second round.

Perez was last year's doubles champion in Strasbourg but was no match for the world number 12, who is currently operating with her hitting partner as a coach.

Sabalenka had been working with Kindlmann, who used to coach her doubles partner Elise Mertens, heading into the US Open, but the Belarusian elected not to keep him on.

"I told him that I think I'm not ready for a new person on my team," Sabalenka explained.

"He's a great guy, great coach, but I'm just not ready. I'm going to work with my hitting partner for now as my coach."

Anna Blinkova, who beat Myrtille Georges 6-1 6-2, awaits Sabalenka in round two.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens succumbed to the shock result of the day, meanwhile, as she crashed out to world number 83 Nao Hibino. 

Stephens was going up against an opponent who was 0-3 across her first three events since the season was restarted, but Hibino secured a hard-fought 6-2 3-6 6-1 triumph.

"Last week, I lost in qualies in Rome and it was not a good match, so I learned from that," Hibino said after the match. "Of course, Sloane is a good player, especially on clay courts. I prepared mentally and with tactics, so I think it helped a lot today."

It was a bad day for Stephens' compatriot Christina McHale, who went down 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-3) to Zarina Diyas.

Magda Linette beat Pauline Parmentier to set up a tie with second seed Elina Svitolina, while third seed Kiki Bertens will meet Jelena Ostapenko.

There were also victories for Elena Rybakina, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Alize Cornet, Shuai Zhang and Katerina Siniakova.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was delighted to have fans in attendance to witness her hard-fought triumph over Alison Van Uytvanck at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

Pavlyuchenkova, champion at Strasbourg in 2018, overcame Van Uytvanck 6-3 7-5 on Sunday in a contest lasting an hour and 37 minutes.

The world number 36 had to save two set points in the 10th game of the second but held her nerve and quickly wrapped things up without the need for a decider.

With a limited number of fans allowed to attend sporting events in France amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pavlyuchenkova was thrilled to finally be back playing in front of spectators.

"I like this event and I have good memories as I won it two years ago," she said. "It was strange and nice at the same time to see a crowd out there today. There were a lot of people.

"I'm really happy with the win and the way I played. I started the match really well. I was aggressive and solid at the same time."

Jil Teichmann is next up for Pavlyuchenkova after her 6-2 6-3 triumph over sixth seed Amanda Anisimova.

In Sunday's other match, Clara Burel came from behind to beat Kateryna Bondarenko 3-6 6-1 6-4.

Eugenie Bouchard missed the chance to become the lowest-ranked qualifier ever to win a WTA Tour event as she went down 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) to Patricia Maria Tig in the Istanbul Cup final.

Former Wimbledon finalist Bouchard endured a wretched 2019 to tumble down the rankings and, despite recent improvement, entered the tournament in Turkey as the world number 272.

After taking control of Sunday's contest at the end of a fine week, though, it appeared the Canadian would earn a second career title. Only three players have triumphed on the Tour while being ranked lower and none of those first came through qualifying.

But Tig, whose only prior WTA success came in the 125K series, belatedly applied some pressure and Bouchard collapsed, recovering to reach a third-set tie-break but coming up short.

Bouchard made an aggressive start to take the first seven points and the break quickly followed.

The 26-year-old was frustrated in her pursuit of a swift second but clinched the opener on Tig's serve when a rapid return sent the Romanian into the net.

Tig was much improved at the start of the second, however, and a gorgeous drop shot forged her first opportunity of the entire match, which she duly took.

Bouchard then lost her way as she looked set to break back, instead subsequently dropping her own serve again as she receiving a code violation for ball abuse before appearing to frustratedly gesture towards her coach.

A deserved third break settled the set and Tig soon led in the decider, too, but Bouchard battled to avoid a further setback and looked to have rediscovered her earlier poise and power as she levelled the match.

A wild backhand put Tig back in the driving seat, only for Bouchard to save three championship points on her opponent's serve, breaking back, and another three on her own.

The inconsistency that dogged Bouchard from the second set onwards would prove her undoing in the breaker, however, as Tig saw out a breakthrough triumph.

Eugenie Bouchard came through an enthralling encounter with Svetlana Kuznetsova to record a first win over a top-30 player in nearly two years.

The Canadian beat the number one seed 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in a match just short of three hours at the Istanbul Open on Thursday.

Bouchard, who had lost all three previous meetings with Kuznetsova, almost let the first set slip from her grasp and squandered three match points in the second before recovering her poise to close out the win.

Speaking after reaching her third quarter-final of an encouraging year, the 26-year-old said: "That was extremely tough mentally.

"I blocked out mentally that I had missed match-point opportunities, so I had this anger – but I was calm. I had this calm anger at the start of the third set. That motivated me – I wanted to do the right thing after messing up. I wanted to make things better."

Bouchard will face Danka Kovinic next after the Montenegrin beat sixth-seed Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 6-4.

Fourth seed Caroline Garcia is also out, falling 6-1 6-4 to Tereza Martincova, who will next meet Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Third seed Polona Hercog will face Paula Badosa in her quarter-final after beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets, while Patricia Tig and Rebecca Peterson will contest the other last-eight match.

Eugenie Bouchard's reward for a dominant first-round win over Viktoriya Tomova is a meeting with Istanbul Cup top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Former Wimbledon finalist Bouchard endured a miserable 2019 and tumbled down the rankings but reached the Prague Open quarter-finals in her previous outing before qualifying for the main draw in Turkey.

Once there, the Canadian made light work of Tomova, breaking serve six times for a 6-2 6-4 success.

Bouchard was joined in the second round by seeds Caroline Garcia, Alison Van Uytvanck and Misaki Doi.

However, both Garcia and Doi were taken to three sets, the former remarkably dropping the second 6-0 to home hopeful Cagla Buyukakcay while the latter came from behind to beat Ellen Perez.

Margarita Gasparyan, Patricia Maria Tig, Tereza Martincova and Danka Kovinic all also won on Wednesday.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich set aside her US Open exit to make a winning start at the Istanbul Cup on Tuesday.

Sasnovich reached round three at Flushing Meadows in New York, thrashing 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova in her second match before bowing out to Yulia Putintseva.

Back to regular WTA Tour action, swapping US hardcourts for clay in Turkey, 106th-ranked Belarusian Sasnovich began slowly in her clash with Zarina Diyas before improving to beat the Kazakh seventh seed 3-6 7-5 6-1 on Tuesday.

Polona Hercog, the Slovenian third seed, saw off Turkish hope Berfu Cengiz 6-2 6-3, with wins also for Spain's Paula Badosa and Sara Sorribes Tormo, the latter going through after British fifth seed Heather Watson retired when trailing 3-2 in the opening set.

Italy's Jasmine Paolini and Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova came through tight three-set contests, with Canada's former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard among the players to battle through qualifying early in the day to reach the main draw.

Jennifer Brady has won her first ever WTA Tour title after she emerged 6-3 6-4 victor over Jil Teichmann in the Top Seed Open final on Sunday.

Both players came into the match having not dropped a single set en route to the final in Lexington, but something had to give and Brady ultimately came out on top on home soil.

A decisive spell in the first set saw Brady save four break points to go 4-3 up before overpowering Teichmann in the following game to take charge.

She then held her nerve – just about – to see out the set, but she expressed frustration at her own serving as two significant errors from Teichmann let Brady off the hook and go a set up.

Brady broke Teichmann's serve in the very first game of second set and that proved crucial, with the rest of the match going with service.

Teichmann had her chances, particularly with the score 4-3 in the second, but Brady's effectiveness on her second serve proved valuable as she fought on to clinch her maiden WTA Tour title.

Shelby Rogers was unable to build on her shock win over Serena Williams as she was beaten in the Top Seed Open semi-finals by Jil Teichmann, who will face Jennifer Brady in Sunday's showpiece after she defeated Cori Gauff.

Rogers produced an impressive shock in Friday's quarter-finals when beating 23-time grand slam champion Williams in a dramatic third-set tie-breaker in Lexington, but she came unstuck against Teichmann.

The 23-year-old was a dominant victor as well, seeing off Rogers 6-3 6-2, as she continued her impressive run of not dropping a set all week.

Teichmann, who is also involved with the doubles, has no special secret to her form, but is grateful to have found a groove.

"I don't have an answer for why I don't lose any sets," she said. "I just feel very good. I'm playing very consistent. I feel great on court. I guess that's the main reason."

Brady has enjoyed a similarly emphatic run to the final - this match saw her lose four matches in a single set for the first time in Lexington, as she saw off teen sensation Gauff 6-2 6-4 on Saturday.

Gauff lost three games on her serve in the first set and, although she improved in the second, Brady's break in the third game proved crucial as she reached a second career final.

 

Serena Williams crashed out of the Top Seed Open, the former world number one surprisingly beaten by Shelby Rogers in the quarter-finals.

Williams – the top seed and 23-time grand slam champion – was ousted 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) by fellow American Rogers in Lexington on Friday.

Stepping up her preparation ahead of this month's US Open in New York, Williams overcame sister Venus in the last 16 on Thursday but the 38-year-old star was unable continue her run at the WTA International event.

Rogers – in her first meeting against Serena Williams – rallied from a set down in the all-American affair to earn a semi-final showdown with Jil Teichmann, who accounted for Cici Bellis 6-2 6-4.

"It was important for me going onto the court thinking I could win that match, and knowing I could take care of my service games," Rogers said. "Because [Williams] has probably the best serve of all time, and when she wants to, she can win a point on her serve."

Teenage sensation Coco Gauff, meanwhile, fought back from a set and a break down to top eighth seed Ons Jabeur 4-6 6-4 6-1.

Gauff trailed 6-4 4-2 but the 16-year-old American completed a thrilling comeback to reach her second WTA semi-final.

Awaiting Gauff in the final four is countrywoman Jennifer Brady, who eased past Marie Bouzkova 6-1 6-2.

Simona Halep breezed into the semi-finals of the Prague Open with an emphatic defeat of Magdalena Frech on Friday.

Top seed Halep, playing her first tournament since the resumption of the season, took less than an hour to wrap up a crushing 6-2 6-0 victory.

The two-time grand slam champion came through three-set contests with Polona Hercog and Barbora Krejcikova en route to the last eight, but had no such trouble in a one-sided quarter-final.

Halep broke three times in each set as lucky loser Frech, playing her sixth match of the week, was blown away by the Wimbledon champion.

The world number two, yet to confirm if she will play in the upcoming US Open, said: "The whole game was better today.

"I'm happy that I can play better and better day by day. It was a good one and I'll take it."

Halep will either face fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu or Sara Sorribes Tormo for a place in the final, with the latter having taken the first set of their quarter-final before play was suspended due to rain.

Third seed Elise Mertens earlier overcame wildcard Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 1-6 6-4 and will take on Kristyna Pliskova, who advanced when Ana Bogdan retired due to injury when leading 5-2 in the first set.

Shelby Rogers will face 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Top Seed Open after seeing off Leylah Fernandez.

American Rogers was too good for Fernandez, winning 6-2 7-5 at the WTA International event in Lexington on Thursday.

After cruising in the opening set, Rogers trailed 5-2 in the second before reeling off five straight games to trump the emerging Canadian teenager.

Awaiting Rogers in the last eight is countrywoman and former world number one Serena Williams, who outlasted sister Venus earlier in the day.

Serena rallied from a set down to defeat Venus 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the 31st instalment of a rivalry dating back 22 years.

Down 4-2 in the deciding set, the 38-year-old Serena fought back to vanquish Venus after two hours, 19 minutes on Center Court.

Elsewhere, Jil Teichmann stunned fifth seed Yulia Putintseva 6-2 6-2 and next meets Cici Bellis – who accounted for Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-2.

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