Beatriz Haddad Maia won her first ever WTA tour singles title on Sunday with an impressive 6-4 1-6 6-3 win against Alison Riske at the Nottingham Open.

A back-and-forth contest ultimately turned in the Brazilian's favour as she recovered from a dominant second set from her American opponent to claim the decider and the trophy. 

Haddad Maia made a strong start, and took the first set 6-4 after winning 90 per cent of points on her first serve (18 of 20).

Sixth seed Riske came out fighting in the second set, though, breaking in the second game before saving three break points on her own serve, and then breaking for a second time, racing out to a 5-0 lead.

Riske made just five unforced errors in the second set to claim it 6-1 and send the final into a decider.

Seventh seed Haddad Maia was being made to work hard at the start of the third and was broken again by Riske in the third game, but this time was able to break straight back.

Haddad Maia was angered by a line call that went against her in the seventh game, but she used it to find another level, breaking Riske again to take a 5-3 lead, before serving out to seal her maiden WTA singles title.

"It was just amazing. I never expected people here [in Nottingham] cheering for me so thanks a lot for making it special for me," Haddad Maia said in her on-court interview after the win.

"[Riske] improved her game so I tried to stay concentrated... I'm very happy that I was fighting with myself so I could get this trophy.

"It's crazy because I never thought my first [singles title] would be on grass.

"I came here to fight and to win this title, and Nottingham for sure will always be in my heart."

Aryna Sabalenka will meet Ekaterina Alexandrova in The Rosmalen Grass Court Championship final, while Beatriz Haddad Maia set up a showdown with Alison Riske in the Nottingham Open showpiece.

Sabalenka, ranked sixth in the world, put paid to Shelby Rogers 7-6 (8-6) 6-0, as the favourite in the Netherlands reached her second singles final this year.

World number 30 Alexandrova had little difficulty against Veronika Kudermetova as she triumphed 6-3 6-1 to reach her first singles final of the season.

Sabalenka and Alexandrova have split four previous meetings with two wins apiece, with the latter taking the most recent clash in straight sets at the Moscow quarter-finals last year.

Seventh seed Haddad Maia stunned favourite Maria Sakkari in the quarter-finals to tee up the last-four clash with Tereza Martincova in Nottingham.

The Brazilian raced out the blocks once more to progress past Martincova, with the former 6-3 4-1 up before the Czech retired with injury.

Rain stopped play in the second semi-final between Viktorija Golubic and Riske with the scores level at one set each.

Sixth seed Riske capitalised from that point onwards to edge past Golubic 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Only the understandable media attention is allowing Iga Swiatek to keep count of her incredible winning run that reached 30 matches on Thursday.

The world number one sealed her place in the third round of the French Open after a dominant 6-0 6-2 win against Alison Riske.

That victory made her just the fourth WTA Tour player this century to win 30 or more consecutive matches. She has also taken 46 of the past 47 sets she has played.

Speaking at a news conference following her milestone win, Swiatek insisted she does not follow the numbers – although she has no need to while her streak remains the focus of journalists.

"I know how many matches I have won in a row because you keep reminding me, basically," she said. "But I don't keep track.

"I'm not like noting or something. I just try to come back to these matches to get experience from them. But that's the only reason why I come back to them."

Swiatek was asked to explain what had inspired her imperious form, with her 39 match victories in 2022 already three more than she managed in the whole of 2021.

"I think basically I changed some things, like I started being more aggressive and trying to be more proactive on court," she replied. "That's something that my coach really helped me to do.

"But also, I think all the work we have been doing, even last season, it finally clicked somehow.

"You know, last season it was a year for me where I really gained so much experience. This year I feel like I'm using it the right way. I have this experience already, and I can just move forward.

"So I think it's the physical work I have been doing but also with my psychologist, I think it's the work of the whole team as well. I'm pretty glad that it clicks right now."

The 20-year-old conceded her form will not last forever, but she is determined to enjoy it while it lasts.

"I was saying from the beginning that for sure I'm going to reach a point where I'm going to lose a match, and it's pretty normal, you know," Swiatek said. "I have been losing matches in tennis for a long time.

"For sure, the things we are doing right now are pretty extraordinary, but I know in tennis that only one person wins at the end. I will be okay with that.

"For sure, it's not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn't be different than any other loss that I had in my career."

Iga Swiatek again showed relentless form to ease past Alison Riske and book her place in the third round of the French Open on Thursday.

The number one seed stormed to a 6-0 6-2 victory on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, and will now face Danka Kovinic – the latest woman to attempt to halt the WTA Tour's winning machine.

Chasing her 30th straight win, there was an ominous start from Swiatek, who sealed the first set in just 20 minutes as Riske won just seven points.

Swiatek was ruthless as she sped through the games, winning all three break points against Riske to get halfway to victory in double quick time.

The American tried to fight back at the start of the second, but Swiatek seemed to move up a gear every time her opponent was able to win a point, breaking again in the second game.

Riske reached deuce in the next game, before finally holding serve to get herself on the board to a big cheer from the crowd.

The world number 43 showed more fight as she held serve again, but Swiatek's power and shot placement was ultimately too much as she motored to victory.

The 2020 champion has now won 39 matches this year (including Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers), three more than her tally for the entire 2021 season.

Data Slam: Dominant Swiatek

Swiatek's win here makes her just the fourth player this century to win 30 or more consecutive matches. She also won 85 per cent of points on her first serve (22 of 26) and did not face any break points.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Swiatek – 23/15
Riske – 6/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Swiatek – 1/1
Riske – 2/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Swiatek – 5/9
Riske – 0/0

Top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka won for the first time since late February, defeating Alison Riske 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 at the Charleston Open on Wednesday.

Losing her opening matches at the sunshine double of Miami and Indian Wells, after only taking five games off Iga Swiatek at the quarter-final in Doha, the world number five improved her head-to-head record with Riske to 5-0.

Sabalenka by no means cruised to victory, though, failing to close the match out at 5-2 in the second set. Riske had four break points to level at 5-5, but the 23-year-old powered through when she needed to, eventually closing out after an hour and 49 minutes.

Second-seeded Paula Badosa of Spain and ninth-seeded American Madison Keys also advanced to the third round at Charleston, with respective wins over Anna Bondar and Ulrikke Eikeri.

Badosa, who made the semi-finals in Charleston last year, overcame a mid-match rain delay to eventually win in an hour and 35 minutes.

Jessica Pegula continued her positive run of form after making the semi-finals in Miami, accounting for Jasmine Paolini with a 6-2 6-1 victory.

Other seeded winners included Belinda Bencic and Alize Cornet, while Elina Rybakina, Ajla Tomljanovic and Shuai Zhang were among seeds who lost on Wednesday.

The weather in South Carolina continued to be a problem at the first WTA clay-court event this season, however, as the match between Ons Jabeur and Emma Navarro was suspended due to heavy rain.

Meanwhile at the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota, Rebecca Peterson was the only seeded player in action on Wednesday, and lost 6-1 6-4 to Germany's Tatjana Maria.

Naomi Osaka moved into the fourth round at the Miami Open without even taking the court on Saturday, getting a walkover victory as Karolina Muchova withdrew.

The former world number one claimed straights sets victories coming into Saturday and had her run eased even further, with Muchova citing abdominal injury after almost five hours on court in her opening two matches.

Muchova has been sidelined due to the injury for the last seven months, missing the US Open in 2021 as well as the Australian Open this year.

"I'm sad that I cannot put up a battle against Naomi today." Muchova tweeted. "After a long break from tennis, two tough matches in [a] row have been a lot for my body and I need longer to recover."

While Lucia Bronzetti also won in a walkover, Osaka will face Alison Riske, who defeated fellow unseeded American Ann Li 6-2 3-6 6-3.

In her third match since losing to Ash Barty in the Australian Open final, Danielle Collins defeated Vera Zvonareva 6-1 6-4 in 78 minutes.

The American world number 11 has had to deal with numerous niggling injuries this season, including a viral illness that left her with significant neck pain.

"There was obviously an emotional moment for me, the pain I'm dealing with right now with this injury," she said post-match.

"Just trying to work through that, I think is one of the hardest things we go through mentally when we're on court."

Fellow seeds Belinda Bencic and Ons Jabeur also made their way through to the fourth round, defeating Heather Watson and Kaia Kanepi respectively.

Both won with relative comfort, with Bencic winning 6-4 6-1, and Jabeur only dropping three games in the opening set to triumph 6-3 6-0.

Alison Riske produced a breathtaking comeback to beat Garbine Muguruza at the Indian Wells Open, turning around an apparent lost cause after losing the first nine games of the match.

Muguruza, who won the WTA Finals title at the end of last season, was cruising at 6-0 3-0, but 31-year-old American Riske, despite tossing her racket in frustration, refused to give up. Incredibly, she won 12 of the next 13 games to reach the third round at the expense of the world number nine.

"After the first set, it literally could not get any worse," Riske said in her on-court interview following a 0-6 6-3 6-1 success.

"So if I could try to get two balls in the court we might get somewhere. I was just trying to hang in there. I've played Garbine many times before and it's always been a battle."

This was Riske's fifth match against Spanish star Muguruza, and despite losing the first two of those, she had since beaten the two-time grand slam winner twice, albeit most recently at the 2019 US Open.

"I felt if I could get in there a little bit, I was going to have my chances," Riske said. "I know I've beaten her before, and if I could just bring out some of my game, good things were going to happen."

It was world number 53 Riske's 10th career victory against a player ranked in the top 10.

British player Harriet Dart pulled off a shock win over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, as the world number 122 snatched a 2-6 6-3 6-3 victory over the 12th seed.

Three of the biggest names in the draw took the long route through to the last-32 stage, with Emma Raducanu, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek taken to a deciding set in their opening matches, having benefited from first-round byes 

Raducanu fended off Caroline Garcia 6-1 3-6 6-1, while Halep was a 6-2 4-6 6-2 winner against Ekaterina Alexandrova, the Russian who is playing under a neutral flag.

Polish third seed Swiatek put a slow start behind her to beat Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 5-7 6-0 6-1 and is looking to build on her recent Qatar Open triumph. She said: "I'm pretty happy I could turn my head on to fight mode and stay focused, because that was the key I guess."

Last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova bowed out, the Czech seventh seed losing 2-6 7-5 6-4 to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Madison Keys overpowered Alison Riske to score a crushing win in Saturday's Adelaide International 2 final.

A 6-1 6-2 victory for Keys at Adelaide International 2 gave her a sixth WTA Tour title and a first since a stunning run in 2019 at Cincinnati.

Keys, who faces a tough Australian Open first-round clash against 2020 champion Sofia Kenin, showed her form is coming back after a lean spell.

The former world number seven has slipped to a lowly 87th in the rankings, but at the age of 26 she has ample time to climb back towards the top of the game.

This win moves her back into the top 60, with Elina Svitolina and Coco Gauff among the players Keys has fended off this week.

Keys said: "I'm really happy with how today went. There were a couple of opportunities where momentum could have switched, and I think I did a really good job of just regrouping and continuing to focus on my side of the court. Really happy to get a win."

Keys explained her mindset had been "dark" at times in 2021, with her appetite for tennis ebbing away.

She said: "Just knowing from what I was thinking about last year and the deep, dark pit of despair that I put myself into because of that, I don't want to go back to that. I don't want to let myself borderline hate being on the tennis court and hate competing. If I let myself think that way, that's where it goes."

Her motivation is on an upwards curve now, and results like this will help. Keys held serve throughout, did not face a break point, and broke Riske's delivery four times on the way to sealing victory in an hour and six minutes.

Quoted on the WTA website, Keys added: "I think the biggest takeaway is that things can switch at any moment. As long as you can continue to have the right mindset and keep going for things and keep working hard, things will get better if they're not going well, as long as you just have the right mindset and continue to have a good attitude about it."

Barbora Krejcikova saved seven match points on her way to beating Anett Kontaveit in a thrilling Sydney Tennis Classic semi-final on Friday.

The world number four prevailed 0-6 6-4 7-6 (14-12) in a match that went the distance and will take on Paula Badosa, who beat in-form Daria Kasatkina in the other semi-final.

Krejcikova had lost five in a row against top-10 players and was soundly beaten in the first set, but she held in the second and earned the only break in the ninth game to level up. 

That set up an incredible decider, which fourth seed Kontaveit led 6-5, but she could not take the first three of her match points as Krejcikova battled valiantly to force a tie-break.

Krejcikova felt her opponent's pain as she then squandered two match points of her own when leading 6-4. 

It appeared neither player wanted to win as two more match points went begging for Krejcikova and four for Kontaveit in what turned into a real classic.

But Krejcikova eventually took her fifth opportunity to see off Kontaveit and reach a sixth WTA singles final.

"I think from both sides it was a really, really tough match," Krejcikova said. "I think we played wonderful tennis. 

"It was very, very tight, and I'm really happy that I was able to hold the nerves better and that I won this match.

"I was just playing, just trying to fight for every single ball. When I had those match points down, I was just trying to figure out how to build up the point and how to win the point."

Badosa awaits Krejcikova in Saturday's final after beating Kasatkina in a match with far fewer twists and turns.

Competing in her second semi-final in as many weeks, it was similar disappointment for Kasatkina as she fell to a 6-2 6-2 loss.

French Open quarter-finalist Badosa hit 26 winners to Kasatkina's 12 and did not look back after winning 14 of the opening 16 points.

At the Adelaide International 2, meanwhile, it will be an all-American final as Madison Keys and Alison Riske advanced past Tamara Zidansek and Coco Gauff respectively.

Riske was given a walkover win against Zidansek, who withdrew with an abdominal injury, while Keys beat compatriot Gauff in three sets.

Daria Kasatkina reached her second semi-final in as many weeks with a straight-sets victory over Garbine Muguruza at the Sydney Tennis Classic on Wednesday.

The world number 26, who was defeated by Amanda Anisimova in the Melbourne Summer Set 2 semi-finals last week, beat second seed Muguruza 6-4 6-4.

Kasatkina held throughout the opening set, landing 67 per cent of her first serves, and saw the job through in the second despite a couple of early breaks for Muguruza.

It is the Russian's first win over a top-five opponent since beating Caroline Wozniacki at the 2018 French Open.

She will now face fifth seed Paula Badosa, who saw off Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-3 in an entertaining match lasting two hours and 35 minutes.

The other semi-final in Sydney will be contested between Anett Kontaveit and Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced past Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia respectively.

Krejcikova proved far too strong for Garcia, prevailing 6-0 6-2 in 70 minutes, while Kontaveit was in action for just 43 minutes before being handed a walkover win in her match.

Jabeur had targeted "payback" against Kontaveit after her quarter-final opponent pipped her to the final WTA Finals spot in November, but injury cost her the chance to do so.

Having lost the first set 6-4, Jabeur – who eliminated Petra Kvitova in the previous round – felt unable to continue due to a lower back injury.

At the Adelaide International 2, three of the five Americans in action made it through to the semi-finals.

Alison Riske's clash with compatriot Madison Brengle ended early due to the latter retiring with the first set level at 3-3. Tamara Zidansek awaits Riske after beating Lauren Davis 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (9-7).

Coco Gauff and Madison Keys will meet in the other semi-final, meanwhile, following victories over Ana Konjuh and Ludmilla Samsonova in two and three sets respectively.

Kim Clijsters' first appearance at the Indian Wells Open in a decade did not last long, the two-time champion eliminated in the opening round.

Clijsters remains winless since coming out of retirement on the WTA Tour, falling 6-1 2-6 6-2 to Katerina Siniakova on Thursday. 

A four-time grand slam champion, the 38-year-old Clijsters has lost all five of her singles matches since her return last year. 

"I think overall, there's definitely moments where I'm feeling really good out there, and there's moments where I feel too inconsistent," Clijsters – a winner at Indian Wells in 2003 and 2005 – told reporters.

"That's part of this process in general, it's not going to be a smooth ride, and that's what I'm going to try to improve every time I'm out there."

World number 53 Siniakova converted six of nine break points on Clijsters' serve and moved on to face 10th seed Angelique Kerber at the WTA Premier 1000 event.

 

GOLUBIC HOLDS OFF VONDROUSOVA

The day's only duel between top-50 players saw world number 46 Viktorija Golubic outlast 37th-ranked Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 4-6 6-3. 

Both players struggled with their own service games, combining for three aces and 17 double faults, but it was the Swiss who managed to convert on eight of 14 break-point chances and come out on top. 

It was Golubic's first win against a player in the top 50 since joining those ranks herself in July; she had been 0-3 against them since then. 

 

GARCIA RALLIES PAST FLIPKENS, RISKE GETS RARE INDIAN WELLS WIN

Caroline Garcia fought back to defeat Kirsten Flipkens 5-7 6-4 6-0 in a match that took two hours, nine minutes to complete, firing seven aces and winning 71.2 per cent of points on her first serve. 

The Frenchwoman, who had been upset by qualifiers at her two previous tournaments in Ostrava and Chicago, meets 15th seed Coco Gauff in the second round. 

Alison Riske celebrated a victory for just the second time in seven trips to Indian Wells, cruising past qualifier Liang En-shuo 6-2 6-2 to set up a second-round matchup against 16th seed and former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu. 

Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic eased to a straight-sets win over Sara Sorribes Tormo to maintain her good form and book a place in the Ostrava Open quarter-finals.

Third seed Bencic needed just 88 minutes to see off her 36th-ranked opponent as she made it 15 victories from her past 18 matches.

Czech wildcard Tereza Martincova is also through to the last eight on home soil after battling past French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6).

Martincova is into her fifth quarter-final of the season and will take on number four seed Maria Sakkari, who saw off Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 6-2 earlier on Thursday.

Also through to round three is Elena Rybakina following a hard-fought 6-3 2-6 6-1 win over qualifier Magda Linette, while Jil Teichmann – who shocked former world number one Angelique Kerber in the previous round – advanced in three sets against Alison Riske.

She will face Petra Kvitova for a place in the semi-finals. 

Jasmine Paolini battled to a straight-sets victory over Alison Riske in Sunday's Portoroz final to win her maiden WTA singles title.

World number 87 Paolini had already eliminated three seeded players to reach her first final and she recovered from a slow start to see off another 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Third seed Riske led 5-2 in the first set after breaking her opponent's serve three times in the opening seven games, but Paolini dug deep and took four games on the spin.

The Italian used that momentum in the tie-break to open up a 5-2 advantage before getting over the line with her second set point.

After a gruelling 63-minute opening set, Paolini found the second a more straightforward affair as she broke for 3-2 and reeled off the remaining games, the last of those points coming via an error-forcing forehand.

Paolini, who won two-thirds of her second-service points and converted six of her 10 break points, is glad her hard work has paid off with a first singles success at the age of 25.

"It's been an amazing week here in Portoroz," she said in her on-court interview. "I feel just very happy, it's a big achievement for me, to win my first title. It's special to do it on the hard court.

"It wasn't easy to go through to the final. I'm proud of myself because I never gave up.

"I'm working really hard in the past couple of months. I understood more about my game, I think. I just want to keep this level for all the season that is almost finished, and to stay strong and keep this level."

Second seed Elina Svitolina crashed out of the Viking International in Eastbourne at the last-16 stage on Wednesday with a straight sets defeat to Elena Rybakina.

The world number five lost 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to 21st-ranked Rybakina, whose reward is a meeting with Coco Gauff's conqueror Anastasija Sevastova in the quarter-finals.

Third seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada also lost in straight sets, Anett Kontaveit of Estonia beating her 6-3 6-3.

And it was the same story for fourth seed Iga Swiatek, though she at least took a set as she was beaten by Daria Kasatkina.

It took an impressive rally from Russia's Kasatkina to bounce back from losing the first en route to a 4-6 6-0 6-1 success.

She will now face Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Ons Jabeur 5-7 6-4 6-3.

In fact, top seed Aryna Sabalenka was the only seed to avoid a surprise exit on Wednesday as she cruised through.

The Belarussian, ranked fourth in the world, beat Alison Riske 6-1 6-4 in just over an hour to set up a clash with Camila Giorgi.

Giorgi had earlier followed up a win over defending champion Karolina Pliskova in the last round by beating Shelby Rogers 6-3 4-6 6-2.

There was no such string of shocks at Wednesday's other WTA event, the Bad Homburg Open in Germany, though first and second seeds Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka needed three sets to progress.

Kvitova lost a second-set tie-break as she beat Ann Li 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 to reach the quarters, while Azarenka defeated Alize Cornet 6-4 3-6 7-6 (9-7).

Angelique Kerber, the fourth seed, progressed more smoothly, earning a comfortable 6-0 6-2 win over Russia's Anna Blinkova.

And Nadia Podoroska saw off the challenge of Patricia Maria Tig, winning 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-4.

Petra Kvitova recovered from a poor start to beat Magda Linette in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Monday.

Linette took just 31 minutes to win the first set in Rome, but world number 10 Kvitova responded superbly to win 1-6 6-0 6-2.

Two-time grand slam champion Kvitova racked up 16 unforced errors in the first set, yet rallied like the great competitor she has proved to be for so long to ensure she will face Vera Zvonareva - conqueror of Christina McHale - in the second round.

The 11th seed from the Czech Republic said: "The first set I started very badly. I was missing almost everything. On the court... [the ball] was bouncing everywhere as well. A little bit windy. I just had to get used to probably everything.

"The beginning of the second set when finally I held my serve and broke her serve, I think since then it was much, much better."

French Open champion Iga Swiatek advanced when Alison Riske retired at 5-4 down in the first set due to a recurrence of a left foot injury.

Swiatek, who will take on Sloane Stephens or Madison Keys in the second round, made 18 unforced errors but had won four games in a row from 4-1 down when the American was unable to continue. 

Coco Gauff battled past Yulia Putintseva 7-5 4-6 6-4 to set up a meeting with 17th seed Maria Sakkari  - who fended off qualifier Polona Hercog 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-2.

Amanda Anisimova will do battle with Elina Svitolina, a winner of this tournament twice, after defeating Wang Qiang 7-5 6-3. Jessie Pegula, Jennifer Brady and Petra Martic were among the other winners on day one.

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