Elena Rybakina and Tamara Zidansek were both surprise second-round losers at The Rosmalen Grass Court Championships as numerous top seeds fell on Thursday.

Third favourite Rybakina struggled to find her rhythm and fell to a 6-2 6-4 loss against world number 42 Shelby Rogers.

The American will face Kirsten Flipkens in the quarter-finals in the Netherlands after she eased past Ann Li in straight sets.

Aryna Sabalenka, the favourite at the tournament, had little difficulty in negotiating past Arianne Hartono 6-2 6-3 and she will meet Alison van Uytvanck in the next round.

The Belgian picked up the scalp of compatriot Elise Mertens, the eighth seed, with a 6-2 6-3 win over the world number 29.

Fourth seed Zidansek was another to fall as she suffered a 6-1 6-1 loss to Catherine McNally, while Veronika Kudermetova profited from Anna Blinkova retiring with the match heading for one set each.

Belinda Bencic, the second favourite, will next challenge Kudermetova after she bucked the trend of the day with a battling 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 win over Anna Kalinskaya.

Seventh seed Ekaterina Alexandrova had no trouble in advancing, meanwhile, as she saw off Anhelina Kalinina 6-4 6-2.

Maria Sakkari found herself 1-0 down against world number 109 Rebecca Marino before rain stopped play at the Nottingham Open, but the top seed responded to claim a 1-6 6-3 6-3 win.

Third seed Camila Giorgi had no such luck against Hannah Dart as she was eliminated 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-3), while Alison Riske and Ajla Tomljanovic beat Caroline Garcia and Katie Boulter respectively in straight sets.

Emma Raducanu has "no idea" if she will be fit for Wimbledon after retiring from her first-round match against Viktorija Golubic at the Nottingham Open on Tuesday. 

Second seed Raducanu conceded the match after 36 minutes having sustained an injury to her left side while down a break at 4-3 in the opening set. 

The 19-year-old is scheduled to appear at Birmingham next week before heading to Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round last year. 

US Open champion Raducanu, who made her WTA Tour debut in Nottingham last year, is unsure if she will recover in time to feature at the All England Club. 

"I think I pulled something, I am not really sure what exactly happened," Raducanu said. 

"I have just come off court, an absolute freak injury. I don't know what I could have done more about it. That is it. 

"I have no idea [about Wimbledon]. It could have just seized up and gone into spasm and then it is really bad for a few days. I have no idea. I cannot diagnose myself. I will get it checked out." 

Raducanu was the only seed to exit the tournament, with top seed Maria Sakkari overcoming Camila Osorio 6-2 6-3 to advance to a second-round meeting with Rebecca Marino. 

Beatriz Haddad Maia came from a set down to beat Wang Qiang 5-7 6-4 6-3, while Ajla Tomljanovic and Camila Giorgi had comfortable victories against Wang Xinyu and Sonay Kartal respectively. 

Aryna Sabalenka cruised into the second round of the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships by defeating Kateryna Baindl 6-4 6-1. 

Fifth seed Liudmila Samsonova, meanwhile, succumbed to a 6-3 6-4 loss to Ann Li in an hour and 22 minutes. 

There would have been further casualties among the seeds had Tamara Zidansek, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Elise Mertens not fought from a set down to win their opening matches. 

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.

Daria Kasatkina suffered a first-round defeat against Anhelina Kalinina in the Kremlin Cup, while Jaqueline Cristian stunned Tamara Zidansek at the Tenerife Open.

World number 28 Kasatkina, who has won four WTA Tour titles, fell on home soil to Kalinina as the Ukrainian triumphed 6-2 6-3 on Monday.

Ajla Tomljanovic cruised past Liudmilla Samsonova in similar fashion, claiming a 6-2 6-4 victory in Moscow to set up a last-16 clash with top seed Aryna Sabalenka, who is ranked second in the world.

Anna Kalinskaya joins Tomljanovic in the next round as she defeated Dayana Yastremska 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 on home soil and the Russian will now face French and US Open semi-finalist Maria Sakkari.

Lesia Tsurenko had no issues against China's Qinwen Zheng as she won 6-4 6-3, while American Bernarda Pera beat Aleksandra Krunic 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 to seal her second-round berth.

Meanwhile, number two seed Zidansek, who sits 33rd in the world rankings, crashed out in Tenerife as world number 108 Jaqueline Cristian succeeded 7-5 4-6 6-1.

Zhang Shuai was the sixth favourite in Spain but she lost to fellow Chinese star Wang Xinyu 6-2 6-1, with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova also defeating Kaja Juvan 4-6 6-1 6-4 and Irina-Camelia Begu overcoming Marta Kostyuk 6-4 6-4.

Tamara Zidansek recovered from a set and early break down to beat Clara Burel and win her first WTA singles title at the Ladies Open Lausanne.

The Slovenian had lost her previous two finals, including at the Copa Colsanitas in April, but she lived up to her top-seed billing on Sunday by beating Burel 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

Burel had eliminated second and fifth seeds Fiona Ferro and Caroline Garcia en route to her first final and made a fast start by breaking Zidansek twice in the first three games.

Former junior world number one Burel was in control at 4-0 up and saw the job through in the first set, despite Zidansek pulling it back to 5-4 at one point, with a backhand winner.

Zidansek was a break down in the second set when beginning her impressive comeback, which saw the French Open semi-finalist take four of the next five games.

But Burel continued to match her opponent as the second set went to a tie-break, with Zidansek recovering from 4-2 down to take it 7-5 and level up the contest.

World number 50 Zidansek took control from that point and eased to victory in the third set with three breaks, clinching her maiden title when Burel miscued a backhand.

 

In-form second seed Barbora Krejcikova saw off Wang Xinyu in straight sets on Saturday to set up an all-Czech final with Tereza Martincova on home soil at the Prague Open.

French Open champion Krejcikova needed just one hour and nine minutes to overcome Wang 6-1 6-2 and reach her third final in four tournaments.

Krejcikova controlled the match from the off, on her way to a routine win, with the world number 13 having still yet to drop a single set in the Czech capital.

Martincova had earlier been made to work a little harder for her victory over Greet Minnen, but the number eight seed advanced through to Sunday's final with a 6-3 6-4 win.

The 26-year-old let slip a 4-1 lead in the second set as Minnen pulled it back to 4-4, before taking her second match point with a strong forehand.

At the Lausanne Open, a new singles champion on the WTA Tour will be crowned on Sunday when Tamara Zidansek and Clara Burel face off.

Zidansek proved too strong for semi-final debutant Maryna Zanevska, prevailing 7-5 6-3, while Burel needed to dig deep to get the better of fifth seed Caroline Garcia.

Burel, who unlike Zidansek has never previously reached a WTA singles final at all, was a set and a break down to Garcia but recovered to take the match the distance.

The 20-year-old called a medical timeout in the decider, though she managed to put that behind her as she earned three breaks of serve to stun her French compatriot 5-7 6-2 6-2.


Elsewhere on Saturday, home favourite Dalma Galfi's tournament was brought to an end at the semi-final stage of the Hungarian Grand Prix with a 6-2 3-6 6-2 defeat to top seed Yulia Putintseva.

Wildcard entrant Galfi offered little in the first set to suggest she would push Putintseva all the way, but she did exactly that with a couple of breaks of serve in the second set.

However, Putintseva, looking to add to her only previous singles title at the 2019 Nuremberg Cup, stormed into a 5-1 lead in the deciding set and ended Galfi's hopes with her first match point.

The Russian will next take on Anhelina Kalinina, who led 6-7 (7-5) 4-1 against Danielle Collins in the other semi-final when her opponent withdrew injured.

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova marched through to the Prague Open semi-finals following a straight-sets victory over doubles partner Katerina Siniakova.

The in-form second seed has six titles to her name this season; three of which have come alongside Siniakova in doubles events.

Together, they have triumphed at Roland Garros – adding to Krejcikova’s singles success – as well as in Madrid and the Gippsland Trophy.

However, this was their first singles meeting at Tour level, which went with the form book as Krejcikova claimed her 18th win in 19 matches after comfortably prevailing 6-3 6-0.

The home favourite, who is still to drop a set in the Czech capital, will play Wang Xinyu in the semi-finals after the world number 147 beat Grace Min 6-3 6-3.

Rebecca Sramkova handed number-one seed Petra Kvitova a shock defeat on home soil at the Prague Open to record her first WTA Tour-level win in a main draw since 2017.

The unseeded Slovakian took the first set 7-6 (7-5) before Kvitova bounced back to take the next 6-3. Sramkova, however, battled through injury to win the final set 6-4 and upset the two-time Wimbledon winner.

Seventh seed Nina Stojanovic avoided an early exit as she recovered from a first-set loss to beat Vitalia Diatchenko 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-3, while ninth seed Greet Minnen defeated Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-0 4-6 6-1.

Unlike Kvitova, the top seed at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Yulia Putintseva, cruised past Ekaterine Gorgodze 6-2 6-4 to record a straight-sets first-round win in Budapest.

But Irina-Camelia Begu, the fourth favourite, was not as fortunate as she failed to secure second-round progression, falling 3-6 4-6 to the unseeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

The Hungarian Grand Prix provided more shocks, with Irina Bara knocking out eighth seed Sara Errani courtesy of a 4-6 7-5 6-2 triumph, while seventh seed Viktoriya Tomova crashed out to Paula Ormaechea in straight sets.

On day one of the Ladies Open Lausanne, favourite and 2021 Roland Garros semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek shook off a first-set loss to dispatch of Marina Melnikova 2-6 6-3 6-2 and book her place in the next round.

Meanwhile, second seed Fiona Ferro was leading her French compatriot Harmony Tan 7-5 2-1 before play was suspended for the day in Switzerland.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova conceded a younger version of herself would have been bemused by why it had taken so long to reach a grand slam final after she finally did so at the French Open on Thursday.

The 29-year-old turned her first major semi-final appearance into a maiden final berth with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek in Paris.

It will be Pavlyuchenkova's first outing in a grand slam final in what is her 52nd major, which establishes an Open Era record. She has become the first woman to play more than 50 majors before reaching a final.

Asked what her 14-year-old self would have said if she had known the wait would be so long, the Russian replied: "Fourteen-year-old me would tell me, like, what took you so long?

"It's tough to really talk about it right now. I don't know. It's been a long road. I had my own long special road. Everybody has different ways. I'm just happy I'm in the final.

"This is something I've been thinking about every single time. I think as tennis players, that's the only goal I think we have in the head. That's why we are playing tennis.

"That's for us the biggest achievement you can get. That's what you are playing for, of course. I think about it all the time.

"I've been thinking about it since I was a junior, since I was a little kid, since I started playing tennis. It's been there in my head forever."

Pavlyuchenkova had six quarter-final singles losses to her name in slams before this tournament, a record that suggested a career of near-misses might be on the cards.

Curiously, she has also reached six doubles quarter-finals in the majors and also failed to win through any of those.

She now has a chance to end her long wait for a major title this weekend at Roland Garros, but admits she has had worries along the way.

"I had a lot of doubts. I could beat top-10 players and make the quarter-final of a major. I was very close to semi-finals a couple of times, but then it wouldn't happen," she said.

"It was just up and down in terms of results. But I feel like I'm there, I can beat those players, but the consistency is off, something is always off.

"Those little puzzles were not coming together every time. I guess maybe I had a lot of expectations that I couldn't deal with over the years. It's been a lot of different things."

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova turned her first grand slam semi-final appearance into a ticket to the final thanks to a 7-5 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek at the French Open.

The Russian had already broken new ground by ending a run of six consecutive quarter-final losses in slams, with the 29-year-old now set to face Barbora Krejcikova or Maria Sakkari in the showpiece.

She certainly did not have it all her own way against surprise package Zidansek – another slam semi-final debutant – on Court Philippe Chatrier, having been broken in the opening game to suggest perhaps a hint of nerves.

But Pavlyuchenkova, who at 29 is six years older than her opponent, drew on all her experience to finish the job in straight sets and remain on course for a career-defining success in Paris.

A hold to love in game three of the first set seemed to put Pavlyuchenkova at ease as she began to find her range, which showed as the number 31 seed became increasingly aggressive in her approach.

The path to a one-set lead was still dotted with stumbles as there were five breaks of serve between the players, the last of which sealed it at 7-5 in Pavlyuchenkova's favour.

At 4-1 up in the second set she appeared to be coasting, before losing six points and two games on the bounce.

But again Pavlyuchenkova dug deep to find another level and finally send her Slovenian rival packing.

Data Slam: Second serves stifle Zidansek

In a match where both players looked vulnerable on serve at times, the disparity in points won on second serve proved telling.

While Pavlyuchenkova showed cunning and variety to mix things up, winning 54 per cent of the points on her second serve, Zidansek could only manage 38 per cent and was broken six times.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Pavlyuchenkova – 19/22
Zidansek – 27/33

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Pavlyuchenkova – 3/3
Zidansek – 1/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Pavlyuchenkova– 6/10
Zidansek – 4/11

Tamara Zidansek powered into the French Open semi-finals on Tuesday with a three-set win over Paula Badosa as her remarkable campaign at Roland Garros continued.

The world number 85 was the lowest-ranked player in the quarter-finals, which featured six players never to have reached this stage of a grand slam before, a record in the Open Era.

The first woman representing Slovenia to get to the last eight of a major, Zidansek handled the occasion better as she moved a set and 4-2 ahead on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Badosa responded with some powerful hitting as her opponent began to falter, but Zidansek summoned up energy reserves when it mattered to clinch a 7-5 4-6 8-6 win in two hours and 26 minutes.

Badosa, the 33rd seed, had never before been beyond the fourth round of a slam but came into the contest with some pedigree at this event, having won the girls' title in 2015.

The Spaniard eased into a 3-0 lead in the opening set, but Zidansek won five of the next six games to take the lead in the match for the first time. Badosa warded off a set point but succumbed to the second as a slice clipped the top of the net.

Badosa had been one of the form players on clay this year, winning in Belgrade last month after reaching the semi-finals in Madrid and Charleston, but the 23-year-old sent a tight forehand into the tramlines to hand Zidansek a 3-1 lead in the second set.

The Slovenian was similarly tentative in the next game, sending a careless shot long to hand back the break to trigger a succession of unsteady service games from both players.

Badosa, who racked up five double faults in the second set, fell 4-2 behind, only to respond with three games in a row, breaking Zidansek to love before levelling the match when a strong forehand forced an error.

Just as she looked in control, Badosa slapped a forehand into the net to hand back a break, and suddenly Zidansek's laser groundstrokes began to find their mark again, a thumping winner moving her 5-4 ahead.

She dug deep to save break points and move 7-6 ahead after the longest game of the match, and one last forehand winner on the second match point was enough to end a gruelling contest and set up a semi-final against the victor of the clash between Elena Rybakina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

 

Data Slam: Zidansek on target at critical moments

"I was struggling a little bit but, in the third set, I managed to get my groove," said an emotional Zidansek after an exhausting match.

Her accuracy at the crucial points late in the contest proved decisive. She hit 22 of her 48 winners in the deciding set, helping her to swat away break points before clinching the victory.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Zidansek – 48/39
Badosa – 31/47

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zidansek – 1/3
Badosa – 2/9

BREAK POINTS WON

Zidansek – 8/13
Badosa – 7/14

Serena Williams said she would head to London "pretty soon" to start preparation for Wimbledon after being dumped out of the French Open by Elena Rybakina.

Rybakina, who represents Kazakhstan, had not previously been past the second round at Roland Garros but she was in superb form against 23-time grand slam winner Williams, storming to a 6-3 7-5 win in one hour and 19 minutes to reach the quarter-finals.

Russian-born Rybakina was excellent value for her stunning win on Sunday, converting five of her seven break points and winning almost 60 per cent of points returning Williams' second serve.

Far from being disappointed at her early exit, Williams said she was just pleased to have put together a run of three consecutive wins on clay before Sunday's defeat.

"I got some good matches in here," Williams told a media conference. "I did not have the best clay-court season, but it was good to finally get some wins on clay. I'm in a much better place than when I got here.

"It was definitely close. There is literally a point here, a point there, that could change the whole course of the match. I'm not winning those points. That literally could just change everything."

Asked if it might be her final French Open match, the 39-year-old American said: "I'm definitely not thinking about it at all. I'm definitely thinking just about other things but not about that."

One of those "other things" will be Wimbledon, where she has been a singles champion seven times. Asked when she would travel to London for the tournament that begins on June 28, Williams said: "[I will] possibly go home and regroup and then get ready for London. But I don't know. I have to get there early for quarantine, so, yeah, it has to be pretty soon."

Rybakina, who will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-finals, had never faced Williams before.

She said: "When I was small, of course I was watching her matches on TV. It's difficult to expect anything because you watch on TV and it's completely different when you come on court and you feel the power and everything. I knew that the serve was going to be difficult for me to return. She's powerful, but I was ready."

PAVLYUCHENKOVA ENDS LONG WAIT FOR LAST-EIGHT SPOT

Pavlyuchenkova reached the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time in 10 years with a 5-7 6-3 6-2 victory over 15th seed Victoria Azarenka.

It is the seventh grand slam quarter-final for Pavlyuchenkova, who is seeded 31st at Roland Garros, and her first outside Australia in five years.

The Russian had lost to Azarenka in five of their last six matches and looked set for more disappointment when the Belarusian powered back from 3-1 down to take the first set.

However, Pavlyuchenkova fought back in style, hitting 24 winners and making just 11 unforced errors over the next two sets to book her last-eight spot in two hours and nine minutes.

"It's tough to remember what I felt like 10 years ago," she said. "I'd say completely different. I'm very happy also now. I think I feel a little different. I feel more mature. It's a good moment, I'm enjoying it, but I've got work to do.

"I hope I show more maturity as well, smarter tennis, more consistent. I feel quite fit as well, considering the fact that I'm not the youngest on tour now.

"I know what I have to do and I know what I want to do; I'm trying to work for that."

Reflecting on her defeat, Azarenka said: "There's always some positives. The most positive thing I will say from this week, not the whole season, is that I've been able to play pain free. That was my goal here. Everything else is something that can be analysed later."

BADOSA AND ZIDANESK REACH QUARTER-FINALS FOR FIRST TIME

Paula Badosa will compete in her first grand slam quarter-final after overcoming 20th seed Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 3-6 6-2.

Badosa, who reached the semi-finals in Charleston and Madrid before picking up her maiden title in Belgrade a fortnight ago, saved six of the nine break points she faced and converted five of the 10 she forced on her opponent's serve.

"I always thought that tennis is 80 per cent mental," the Spanish 33rd seed said. "I think when you're in these rounds, of course the racket is important, how you play, it's very important.

"I think it's a little bit more important how you manage all the nerves in the important moments. I think when you're here, the mental thing, it's a little bit the key."

She will face world number 85 Tamara Zidanesk, who became the first player representing Slovenia to reach the last eight of a grand slam thanks to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win over Sorana Cirstea.

The best previous major performance by a player representing Slovenia had been the three fourth-round runs by Katarina Srebotnik at Roland Garros in 2002 and 2008, and the US Open in 2008.

"I'm getting a lot of messages that everyone is watching," Zidansek said. "It means a lot to me that I'm able to get across to the message to young people and everyone in Slovenia that we can do it.

"We're a small country; we don't have that many players, but we have good players."

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