Bianca Andreescu was denied her first WTA singles title since the 2019 US Open when Caroline Garcia fought back from behind to win a thrilling Bad Homburg Open final.

Garcia won her first WTA crown for three years by recovering to win a close encounter 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 on Saturday.

Andreescu went into the final as the strong favourite, a position she strengthened by narrowly claiming the first-set tie-break, but Garcia battled back to improve her impressive career record in finals to 8-3.

She claimed her first trophy since winning on the Nottingham grass in 2019, the same year as Andreescu's famous Flushing Meadows triumph.

Andreescu was playing in her sixth career showpiece, having enjoyed a standout week at the WTA 250 event. The Canadian did not drop a set en route to the final, which included beating top seed Daria Kasatkina.

But defeating the battling Garcia, who had saved a match point before beating fellow Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in the semi-finals, proved a step too far.

After winning three straight points to claim a tight tie-break, Andreescu was a break ahead at 4-2 in the second set before Garcia launched a strong comeback.

Andreescu was also a break up in the final set but Garcia – who broke five times throughout the contest - prevailed in two hours and 42 minutes.

With Wimbledon approaching, Andreescu was playing just her sixth tournament of the season following a six-month hiatus to look after her mental health that had followed a string of injuries over recent years.

Reigning Eastbourne International champion Jelena Ostapenko will go up against Petra Kvitova in 2022 Saturday's final.

Ostapenko won as a wildcard in 2021, and the world number 14 confirmed her place in this year's showdown by overcoming Camila Giorgi on Friday.

She is the first female player to reach back-to-back finals in Eastbourne since Caroline Wozniacki in 2017 and 2018.

The Latvian, who is also going to compete for the doubles title, prevailed 6-2 6-2 and will now go up against Kvitova. The pair have faced off eight times previously, with each player winning four matches.

It is Kvitova's first appearance in a final in 2022, with the former world number two – and two-time Wimbledon champion – having ended Beatriz Haddad Maia's winning streak.

Haddad Maia won in Birmingham last week and Nottingham the week before, but her run came to an end at 12 matches, with Kvitova triumphing 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

"For me, a final after almost a year [without one] will be great, so I’m glad already," said Kvitova, who was a runner-up at Eastbourne in 2011 and last reached a final on grass in Birmingham four years ago.

"Jelena loves to play here, obviously, we saw it, she has a really great game for grass."

Meanwhile, at the Bad Homburg Open, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu reached her sixth career final courtesy of a walkover against Simona Halep.

The Romanian withdrew from the semi-final clash with a neck injury, which will worry the 2019 Wimbledon champion ahead of the season's third grand slam at the All England Club.

"I am sorry that I had to withdraw today before my semi-final match," Halep said in a statement.

"But unfortunately I woke up this morning with a blocked neck and this is not allowing me to perform to the best of my ability."

Andreescu will face Caroline Garcia, who saved a match point before going on to beat fellow Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 7-6 (11-9) 3-6 7-5 to reach an 11th tour-level showpiece.

Serena Williams lauded her doubles partner Ons Jabeur after they advanced to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International on Wednesday. 

Playing in her first tournament since retiring from the opening round of Wimbledon injured last year, Williams acknowledged she was particularly reliant on Jabeur during their 6-2 6-4 success over Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching. 

The 23-time grand slam singles champion opted to only play doubles on the south coast as she gears up for a return to the All England Club. 

"I think we played together much better," said Williams. "Although I thought we played really good together [against Maria Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo on Tuesday] too. 

"But Ons really held me up. She was really playing so good. I was looking at her and was like, 'Wow, this is great.' It's good." 

Williams and Jabeur will take on Aleksandra Krunic and Magda Linette for a place in the final. 

Jabeur playfully asked the 40-year-old if she would like to play together at the US Open, to which the former world number one responded: "Sign me up!" 

The Tunisian added: "I'm getting used to this. It was really great to play here and I didn't know we are in the semi-finals. It's super fast, but it's great for us." 

Berlin Open top seeds Ons Jabeur and Maria Sakkari progressed with relative ease from their first-round matches, but Aryna Sabalenka and Garbine Muguruza were not so fortunate.

World number four Jabeur, who will team up with Serena Williams at the Eastbourne International, suffered a shock first-round exit at the French Open, but the Tunisian showed no signs of that defeat having affected her in her first grass-court appearance of the season.

Top seed Jabeur required just 73 minutes to overcome Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-3 on Tuesday, with American qualifier Alycia Parks next up after she defeated Qinwen Zheng in straight sets.

Second seed Sakkari, meanwhile, had a similarly comfortable start to her campaign, beating Leolia Jeanjean 6-3 6-2.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Liudmila Samsonova took her place in round two with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Tamara Zidansek.

Samsonova beat Belinda Bencic to claim the title in 2021, and the pair will meet again the quarter-finals should they win respective second-round ties against Veronika Kudermetova and Anna Kalinskaya.

But Kudermetova goes into her clash with Samsonova on a high, having eliminated third seed Sabalenka in a 2-6 7-5 6-4 comeback victory.

WTA Finals champion Muguruza will not be in round two after the Spaniard fell foul of Germany's Andrea Petkovic, who prevailed 7-6 (10-8) 6-4.

"I really do believe that in these really close matches, the simple and little shift of energy can make the difference," Petkovic said.

"If you have the crowd on your side, and they are willing you to the win somehow, I think that can really make a difference."

At the Birmingham Classic, top seed Jelena Ostapenko booked a second-round meeting with Dayana Yastremska.

While Yastremska beat Magda Linette in straight sets, Ostapenko was made to work, with the Latvian requiring two hours to overcome Canada's Rebecca Marino 6-2 5-7 6-3.

Fourth seed Elise Mertens was ditched out by Caty McNally, while former world number two and two-time major champion Petra Kvitova lost to Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Camila Giorgi, the third seed, leads Tereza Martincova after claiming a close first set 9-7 in the tie-break before the match was suspended.

Emma Raducanu will take on Iga Swiatek in an intriguing quarter-final at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix but Maria Sakkari and Karolina Pliskova were eliminated. 

US Open champion Raducanu overcame Tamara Korpatsch 6-0 2-6 6-1 to set up a meeting with world number one Swiatek. 

It will be the pair's first meeting on the WTA Tour and Raducanu's maiden encounter with a top-10 opponent. 

The Briton, who is playing her first Tour-level clay-court event, won 90 per cent of points on her first serve in the opening set but that slipped to 56 per cent as she opened the door to a comeback in the second. 

However, Raducanu rediscovered her composure in the decider and got over the line after an hour and 39 minutes.

Fourth seed Sakkari retired while 6-4 3-1 down to home hope Laura Siegemund, who will take on Liudmila Samsonova after she bested Pliskova 6-4 6-4. 

Paula Badosa came through a third-set tie-break to beat Elena Rybakina 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) and Aryna Sabalenka put a spanner in the works of Bianca Andreescu's comeback by taking their match 6-1 3-6 6-2. 

Ons Jabeur beat Daria Kasatkina and Anett Kontaveit eventually ousted Ekaterina Alexandrova in a tie-break finale after surrendering the first set.

At the Istanbul Cup, third seed Veronika Kudermetova was granted a walkover against Ana Bogdan.  

Seeds Ajla Tomljanovic (6) and Sara Sorribes Tormo (7) got past Lesia Tsurenko and Varvara Gracheva respectively, while there were also wins for Yulia Putintseva and Anastasia Potapova. 

Russian and Belarusian players, including ATP world number one Daniil Medvedev, will still be able to compete on the Tours and at grand slams, but the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has suspended the countries' teams.

Russia's Medvedev was only crowned world number one for the first time on Monday, though that success came amid the backdrop of an ongoing conflict between his nation and Ukraine.

To widespread international condemnation, Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, with that conflict since escalating further. Belarus, meanwhile, was effectively used as a staging post for part of the invasion force, though Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has insisted the nation's military did not and will not play any part in any operation.

Governments and organisations around the world, including governing bodies within sport, have responded with strict sanctions against Russia and certain individuals with links to president Vladimir Putin.

On Tuesday, the governing bodies of tennis (the ITF, ATP, WTA and the four grand slam events) announced sanctions of their own.

While Medvedev and other Russian and Belarusian players, including Andrey Rublev and WTA world number three Aryna Sabalenka, will be allowed to play in tournaments on both the men's and women's Tours, and the four grand slams, they will have to compete under neutral banners, with the flags of each country banned.

However, the WTA and ATP combined event in Moscow, scheduled to take place in October, has been suspended.

Meanwhile, Russia and Belarus have had their memberships of the ITF revoked, while all ITF tournaments set to be held in those countries have been suspended indefinitely.

Russia hold both the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

The immediate upshot of the decision is that Elina Svitolina, the Ukrainian who is top seed at the Monterrey Open, will play her first-round match against Anastasia Potapova on Monday.

Svitolina said earlier in the day that she would refuse to play against any Russian or Belarusian opponent unless all national emblems, flags and colours were removed.

However, prior to the joint announcement from tennis' governing bodies, Svitolina told ITV News: "There's been a lot of discussion.

"Today they will release a statement that they will remove the flags. So we are waiting just for the final confirmation about that. I will be playing tonight because my opponent is going to be under a neutral flag."

Svitolina has pledged to donate all of her prize money from upcoming tournaments to assist Ukraine's fight against Russia.

The statement from tennis' governing bodies read: "A deep sense of distress, shock and sadness has been felt across the entire tennis community following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in the past week.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and we commend the many tennis players who have spoken out and taken action against this unacceptable act of aggression. We echo their calls for the violence to end and peace to return.

"The safety of the tennis community is our most immediate collective priority. The focus of the WTA and ATP in particular in recent days has been on contacting current and former players, and other members of the tennis community from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, to check on their safety and offer any assistance."

Petra Kvitova crashed out of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, but Jelena Ostapenko is safely through to the quarter-finals.

Two-time grand slam champion Kvitova was comfortably beaten in straight sets by Irina-Camelia Begu, with the Romanian winning 6-4 6-0 in just one hour and nine minutes.

The effectiveness of the first serve was the main difference-maker, with Begu winning 73.1 per cent of her first-serve points, while Kvitova – who has 28 singles titles to her name in contrast to her opponents' four – could only manage 50 per cent.

Begu was set to face the winner of Tereza Martincova's tie with Elena Rybakina, but the latter withdrew because of illness.

Seventh seed Ostapenko made light work of Andrea Petkovic as she beat the German 6-1 6-2 in just 58 minutes, helped largely by winning 85.3 per cent of her first serves, as well as saving all five of the break points she offered up.

Ostapenko has now won two of her four meetings with Petkovic and will next face Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who eased to a 6-2 6-3 victory over Jaqueline Cristian.

Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit were among the big names to cruise through to the quarter-finals of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Wednesday.

Top seed Sakkari faced Ekaterina Alexandrova in the second round and recorded a routine 6-2 6-4 triumph as she looks to bounce back from a fourth-round exit at the Australian Open. 

The Greek will next face a difficult contest with Elise Mertens, who needed three sets to see off the challenge presented by Petra Martic and seal a 6-4 3-6 6-2 success. 

Second seed Kontaveit recorded a 6-4 7-5 victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea to set up a tantalising meeting with Belinda Bencic after the Swiss downed Kaja Juvan 6-1 7-6 (7-2). 

World number 12 Elena Rybakina, meanwhile, needed less than an hour to record a straight-sets victory over Varvara Gracheva, booking an encounter with Tereza Martincova in the round of 16. 

Ash Barty defeated Elena Rybakina in straight sets to claim the Adelaide International title, while Simona Halep clinched silverware in Melbourne.

World number one and heavy favourite Barty prevailed 6-3 6-2 against Rybakina to claim the Adelaide title for a second time in three seasons.

The 25-year-old recovered from 40-15 down in the seventh game and went on to immediately earn the only break of the opening set.

Barty did not look back as she held throughout the second set, meaning she went 35 consecutive games without losing serve to conclude the tournament.

After securing a 14th WTA singles title in a little over an hour, Barty now turns focus to next week's Sydney Tennis Classic ahead of beginning her Australian Open campaign.

"I feel good leading up to an Australian Open like I have every year," Barty, who hit 17 winners to 13 unforced errors, said after seeing off Rybakina. 

"Each and every preparation is unique. We take it for what comes and what it is, move on, try and do the best that we can in every opportunity.

"It has absolutely no effect on the way that I prepare or the way I'm thinking leading forward just because it's a Grand Slam. It doesn't change for us."

Halep, one of Barty's likely rivals for the Australian Open crown, also made a bright start to the year by overcoming Veronika Kudermetova in the Melbourne Summer Set 1 final.

The number two seed, who is aiming to put last year's injury-ravaged and trophyless season behind her, came out on top 6-2 6-3.

She recovered from an early break down in the first set and again in the second to make it 23 career titles, and a first since the 2020 Italian Open.

It could easily have been a different story, however, as Kudermetova had three break points to move 3-0 ahead in the second set, but the Russian could not take full advantage.

Amanda Anisimova defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the Melbourne Summer Set 2 final to claim the first WTA title of the season, and her second overall.

Belarusian qualifier Sasnovich hit back in style to take the second set 6-1 after losing the opener 7-5, but Anisimova recovered from a break down to edge the deciding set 6-4.

In doing so, Anisimova became the first American to win a title on Australian soil since Sofia Kenin's Australian Open triumph in 2020.

Simona Halep, a three-time runner up in Cincinnati, claimed her first win since May by overcoming Magda Linette 6-4 3-6 6-0.

The 12th seed has just returned from a calf muscle tear which saw her miss the French Open and Wimbledon, and was defeated by Danielle Collins in Montreal last week.

However, at 1-4 down in the second set she required medical attention for what she described as a "sharp pain" in her right leg, but after a rain delay, the Romanian came out of the blocks to claim a third-set bagel.

Halep progressed to the Round of 32 where she will play American Jessica Pegula.

Sunday's breakthrough National Bank Open winner Camila Giorgo was beaten in straight sets by Pegula 6-2 6-2.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka needed only one hour and nine minutes to dispose of Ludmilla Samsonova and seal her spot in the last 32.

The Belarussian triumphed 6-2 6-3 over the Russian, dominating her first serve and breaking Samsonova five times throughout the match.

Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Belinda Bencic eased past Marketa Vondrousova 6-3 7-5 continuing her bright recent run, winning in one hour and 27 minutes.

In the final match of the day's play, Caroline Garcia defeated 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes.

Dayana Yastremska, Bernarda Pera, Karolina Muchova, Ons Jabeur, Elena Rybakina, Veronika Kudermetova and Coco Gauff were all winners too.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep's return to the WTA Tour ended in defeat to American Danielle Collins in almost three hours in the National Bank Open in Montreal on Wednesday.

World number 28 Collins triumphed 2-6 6-4 6-4 over the sixth seed Romanian, with the second-round match lasting two hours and 55 minutes.

Halep, who is a two-time winner in Montreal, was returning to the Tour for the first time in three months since suffering a calf tear against Angelique Kerber in Rome.

Collins, who has won titles recently in San Jose and Palermo, loomed as a tough first-up test for Halep, who broke twice to win the first set 6-2 as she generated eight break points to one.

The game turned from then on, as Collins sent down 4-1 aces in the second set and finished with 38 winners for the match.

Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist and third seed Elina Svitolina was bundled out in a second-round shock, losing 3-6 6-3 6-2 to Briton Johanna Konta.

Svitolina boasted a 5-0 record against Konta heading into the match but was beaten in a two-hour-and-11-minute struggle.

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in three sets to secure her third-round spot.

Sabalenka fought back from the brink, rallying to win the last five games and triumph 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-4 over the American wildcard in a two hours and 25 minutes.

Fourth seed Karolina Pliskova came from behind to win 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) over Donna Vekic, while Jessica Pegula also fought back after a slow start to topple 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6 6-3 6-2.

Greek 11th seed Maria Sakkari won in three sets 6-4 6-7 6-4 over Veronika Kudermetova, while 13th seed Ons Jabeur responded after a lopsided first set to win 2-6 6-3 6-4 over Daria Kasatkina.

Cori Gauff progressed after being 5-0 up as Anastasia Potapova retired, while Amanda Anisimova, Camila Giorgi, Rebecca Marino and Sara Sorribes Tormo all won too.

Canadian local hope Marino will take on top seed Sabalenka, while Gauff faces Svitolina's conqueror Konta.

Andrea Petkovic claimed her first singles title on the WTA Tour in over six years thanks to an emphatic victory over Mayar Sherif at the Winners Open.

Petkovic was far too strong for her Egyptian opponent in Sunday's final, easing to a 6-1 6-1 triumph after just over an hour on court in Cluj-Napoca.

The impressive result sealed the German a seventh tournament win in her career, though she had not reigned at an event since her success in Antwerp back in February 2015.

Sherif had become the first Egyptian to reach a singles final on the WTA Tour and received praise from her opponent during the presentation ceremony.

"This has been a great week, but not only that, what's really important is you're paving the ground for all the girls in a part of the world which doesn't appreciate tennis as much as we do here in Europe," Petkovic said to the 25-year-old.

"It's so much more important than winning every title every week, though I'm sure you will get there as well. 

"Just being out there competing, being the first Egyptian woman to make a WTA final, to break into the top 100, I think that's incredible. I want to congratulate you on that – keep going."

Petkovic raced into a 5-0 lead in the opening set before Sherif held serve; she also survived two break points to move ahead at the start of the second.

However, the second seed reeled off the next six games in a row, clinching the result with a forehand winner.

Top seed Danielle Collins sealed her first WTA singles title on Sunday with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Elena-Gabriela Ruse at the Palermo Open.

American Collins, who was top-seeded at a WTA tournament for the first time, did not drop a set all week on her way to a memorable win in Sicily. 

Collins had lost all six of her previous tour-level semi-finals, but she showed superb composure to brush aisde world number 137 Ruse with the minimum of fuss in one hour and 50 minutes. 

The victory meant she became the 14th first-time singles champion on the WTA Tour this season, on the same day Maryna Zanevska became the 13th maiden winner in Gdynia. 

"After everything I've been through, moments where I almost thought about retiring, and after everything we've gone through with the pandemic, it's nice to be able to see the crowd in the stands again," Collins said.

 

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova continued her impressive form as she advanced to the Prague Open quarter-finals following a straight-sets victory over Ysaline Bonaventure.

The second seed has now won 17 of her last 18 matches, having also triumphed in Strasbourg prior to her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last month.

The Czech is also yet to drop a set in her home event after a 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 success over world number 127 Bonaventure.

Krejcikova set up a clash with doubles partner Katerina Siniakova in the quarter-finals.

After her showdown with Tereza Smitkova was suspended during their final set on Wednesday, the fifth seed wasted no time in wrapping up a 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win.

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova made light work of qualifier Isabella Shinikova to start her Prague Open campaign with a win.

Following her triumph in Paris, Krejcikova made it to the round of 16 at Wimbledon only to lose to eventual champion Ash Barty.

Krejcikova will be representing the Czech Republic at the Tokyo Olympics, and is using this home tournament as a warm-up event.

The second seed defeated Shinikova 6-2 6-3 to tee up a second-round tie with Ysaline Bonaventure. With Petra Kvitova already out, Krejcikova will be hoping to seal a third singles title of her career.

Compatriot and fourth seed Marie Bouzkova did not fare well, however, as the fourth seed slumped 3-6 6-4 6-2 to world number 141 Storm Sanders.

Fellow Czechs Katerina Siniakova and Tereza Martincova did progress, beating Jodie Burrage and Samantha Murray Sharan respectively.

While Krejcikova will look to take advantage of a weakened field and prepare for the Olympics in ideal fashion, one player who will not be at the Games is Johanna Konta.

The British number one said on Tuesday she had withdrawn from Tokyo 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19 and seeing her tennis fitness suffer, having also had to pull out of Wimbledon. Konta, who is not in action this week, described the blow as "a heart-breaking reality".

At the Hungarian Grand Prix, third seed Bernarda Pera had to come from behind to beat Julia Grabher – ranked at 201 – 5-7 6-1 6-2.

Pera, who joins a fellow American seed, Danielle Collins, in round two, will next face Anhelina Kalinina.

Irina-Camelia Begu, a finalist in Budapest 10 years ago, will not be making a repeat trip to the title match, the fourth seed losing 6-3 6-4 on Tuesday to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Meanwhile, at the Lausanne Open, fourth seed Camila Giorgi scored a ruthless 6-2 6-0 win over Norway's Ulrikke Eikeri.

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