Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina cruised to a straight sets victory over world number 65 Ana Bogdan to secure her place in Sunday's Slovenia Open final.

The Kazakhstan representative broke Bogdan five times while saving all eight break points to seal a 6-1 6-1 triumph and reach a first final since her SW19 victory over Ons Jabeur in July.

In the final, Rybakina will face Katerina Siniakova after she overcame Anna-Lena Friedsam.

Siniakova stormed to the first set, but the second was a much closer affair and the world number 82 watched five match points come and go before she finally clinched a 6-1 7-5 success.

At the Chennai Open, Magda Linette will play Linda Fruhvirtova in Sunday's decider after coming through semi-final encounters in differing fashion.

Third seed Linette raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first set over Katie Swan before the Brit called a medical timeout after just 16 minutes of play, eventually retiring with illness.

Fruhvirtova's semi-final was a much more gruelling affair, as the 17-year-old came from a set down to overcome Nadia Podoroska 5-7 6-2 6-4 and reach her first WTA final.

Qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam backed up her victory over Emma Raducanu with a 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 quarter-final win over Diane Parry at the Slovenian Open.

After seeing off 2021 US Open champion Raducanu on Thursday, Friedsam continued her run with a superb comeback win to book her place in the semi-finals.

A rough start looked to have primed Friedsam for the exit door, but after prevailing in the second set, the 28-year-old pushed on to take herself within a match of a third career WTA Tour-level final.

She will have to wait to discover whether she will face defending champion Jasmine Paolini however, with the Italian's own quarter-final in Portoroz against Katerina Siniakova delayed until Saturday.

Third seed Elena Rybakina, meanwhile, will face Romania's Ana Bogdan after the Wimbledon champion was handed a walkover following Lesia Tsurenko's withdrawal.

Bogdan reached her second tour-level semi-final of the season by upsetting second seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, recording her 20th win over a top-20 opponent in the process, albeit her first since the 2018 Australian Open.

At the Chennai Open, 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova stunned Varvara Gracheva 6-4 6-3 to reach her first Tour-level semi-final.

Briton Katie Swan continued her impressive run with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over qualifier Nao Hibino and she will face Poland's Magda Linette, the highest-ranked player left in the competition, in the last four.

Fruhvirtova will go up against Nadia Podoroska, who came from a set down to defeat Eugenie Bouchard.

 

Serena Williams has paid tribute to retiring 20-time grand slam winner Roger Federer, describing her admiration for him and welcoming him "to the retirement club".

The 41-year-old confirmed on Thursday that he would bring an end to his illustrious playing career after the Laver Cup later this month.

Federer's announcement comes only weeks after 23-time major winner Williams declared her intention to step away from tennis, culminating at the US Open earlier this month where she bowed out in the third round.

The Swiss icon will bow out with 20 major titles to his name, a feat bettered by only two male players – Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21). Williams sits behind only Margaret Court (24) for women's singles major titles.

"I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, as you so eloquently put this game to rest – perfectly done, just like your career," Williams wrote on Instagram.

"I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same.

"You inspired countless millions and millions of people – including me – and we will never forget. I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future.

"Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you @rogerfederer."

Williams has deliberately avoided the use of the word retirement since declaring her intention to 'evolve' away from tennis, meaning the latter comment is of note.

The 40-year-old American has teased at a potential return to tennis, saying on Good Morning America this week that "Tom Brady started a really cool trend", referencing his decision to come out of retirement.

WTA world number one Iga Swiatek thanked Roger Federer for "everything you've done and everything you are for our sport" after the Swiss great announced his retirement.

Federer confirmed on Thursday that he would bring his illustrious playing career to a close after the Laver Cup.

The 41-year-old will bow out with 20 grand slam titles to his name, a feat bettered by only two male players – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Swiatek, meanwhile, won her third major title last week, defeating Ons Jabeur in straight sets to clinch the US Open, following her successes at Roland Garros in 2020 and earlier this year.

"I just want to thank you for everything you've done and everything you are for our sport," 21-year-old Swiatek tweeted in response to Federer's announcement.

"It's been a privilege to witness your career. I wish you all the best." 

Swiatek followed her post with a goat emoji, signifying that Federer is the greatest of all time.

Chris Evert, a former world number one, also joined the tributes to Federer, tweeting: "He was the epitome of a champion; class, grace, humility, beloved by everyone…and he elegantly mastered the sport like no other…Good luck to you, @rogerfederer don't go too far!"

Martina Navratilova, an 18-time major winner, posted: "What a heartfelt message, full of love, life, hope, passion and gratitude. Which is exactly how Roger played the game we love so much. Thank you thank you thank you, for all the magic!!!"

Emma Raducanu struggled with injury as she slumped out of the Slovenia Open in a second-round 7-5 0-6 6-3 loss to Anna-Lena Friedsam.

The 2021 US Open champion has faced an uphill battle on the WTA Tour this year and suffered another setback in Portoroz, where she was the top seed, playing the latter two sets with her left thigh strapped after a medical time-out.

A recovery looked possible when Raducanu cruised through a second-set bagel, yet the 19-year-old succumbed in the decider.

Raducanu's defeat follows a first-round exit at Flushing Meadows in a dismal attempt to defend her title.

Friedsman's win, meanwhile, secures the world number 213's first appearance in the quarter-finals of a Tour-level event since she lost in the final of the Lyon Open in 2020. It was also her second victory over Raducanu.

Diane Parry will face Friedsman in the last eight, after she overcame Anastasia Potapova, while Katerina Siniakova – who last week completed a career Grand Slam in doubles at the US Open – defeated Jodie Burrage.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Jasmine Paolini overcame a tie-break finale against Kaja Juvan. The Italian fought back to win 5-7 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to stay on course for a successful title defence.

At the Chennai Open, Anastasia Gasanova failed to back up her first-round win over top seed Alison Riske-Amritraj with another success, as Britain's Katie Swan edged her 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

That sets up a quarter-final clash with qualifier Nao Hibino.

The top two seeds left in the competition, Magda Linette and Tatjana Maria, also progressed on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal says it has been "an honour and a privilege" competing with Roger Federer after the 20-time grand slam winner announced his retirement on Thursday.

In a statement posted on social media, Federer confirmed his "bittersweet decision" to call time on his top-level tennis career after next week's Laver Cup in London.

Federer won 20 grand slam titles across a legendary 24-year career, a trophy tally in majors that only Novak Djokovic (21) and Nadal (22) can better.

The 41-year-old has not competed since Wimbledon 2021, after which he underwent a third knee operation, but Nadal had hoped his fellow great would never retire.

"Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come. It's a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world," Nadal posted on his Twitter account.

"It's been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court."

Nadal, who will team up with Federer and Djokovic as part of Team Europe's all-star cast at the Laver Cup, added: "We will have many more moments to share together.

"There are still lots of things to do together, we know that. For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what's ahead of you."

Federer has spent 750 weeks in the top 10 of the men's singles rankings, an undefeated number for a male player since they were first published in 1973.

The Swiss has also won more men's singles main draw matches in grand slam tournaments than any other player in the Open Era (369).

As he brings down the curtain on his remarkable career, several other players paid their respects to one of the sport's all-time greats. 

"Some of Fed’s numbers are laughably impossible to top (23 straight slam semi-finals, for instance)," John Isner posted on Twitter. 

"But his impact on tennis far exceeds what he accomplished on court. Thanks for everything, RF."

Seven-time grand slam winner Petra Kvitova added: "Roger, you have always been such a huge inspiration to me. Your elegance, your grace, your beautiful game. 

"I have always held you in the highest regard and want to congratulate you for an amazing career. Tennis won’t be the same without you! Thank you."

US Open champions past and present Andy Roddick and Carlos Alcaraz led a swathe of social media tributes to Roger Federer after the 20-time grand slam winner announced his retirement.

Federer, who has not played competitively since exiting Wimbledon at the quarter-final stage last year, revealed on Thursday that next week's Laver Cup will be his farewell tournament.

Federer appeared at a parade of former champions at Wimbledon earlier this year and hinted at his desire to feature at the All England Club once more, but his upcoming outing in London will now represent the swansong to his stunning career.

The Swiss great will become the first of the ATP Tour's 'Big Three' to exit the sport, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic still active. 

While Nadal and Djokovic have each surpassed Federer's tally of 20 major titles this year, the 41-year-old overtook Pete Sampras' previous record of 14 grand slam titles by beating Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final.

Roddick was among the first to pay tribute to Federer's achievements on Thursday, writing on Twitter: "Cheers Roger. Thanks for the shared memories my friend. 

"It was an honour to share time/experiences on the most hallowed grounds in our sport. Don't be a stranger."

Alcaraz, who clinched his first grand slam title and became world number one with a US Open final win over Casper Ruud on Sunday, simply wrote: "Roger…", accompanied by a heartbroken emoji.

Milos Raonic has seen his efforts to win a major title foiled by the presence of the 'Big Four' – with Andy Murray beating him on his sole grand slam final appearance at Wimbledon in 2016 – but he also showed his appreciation for Federer's impact.

"Thank you for doing more for tennis than any single individual," Raonic wrote. "Thanks to you competitors and fans across the world get to experience and enjoy it all over the world. 

"Congratulations on your achievements and the people you continue to impact in and away from tennis."

Juan Martin del Potro, who prevented Federer from winning six consecutive US Open titles with a five-set success in the 2009 final, labelled the 41-year-old irreplaceable, declaring: "I LOVE YOU, Roger. 

"Thank you for everything you've done in tennis and with myself. [The] tennis world will never be the same without you."

Former player-turned presenter James Blake added: "Roger, there was and never will be anyone like you. You crushed me on the court, but were so nice and genuine that I couldn't hate you for it. 

"You made the game better on and off the court and you will be missed. Good luck, you have earned all the success and joy in the world."

Garbine Muguruza tweeted: "RF" followed by a heartbroken emoji.

Those who shared a court with Federer were not the only ones to pay tribute, however.

A tweet from Wimbledon's official account read: "Roger, where do we begin? It's been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many."

Roland Garros' official account tweeted: "An inspiration on and off the court. Thank you, Roger."

The US Open's handle simply posted: "Thank you, Roger."

Simona Halep has announced her season is over after undergoing nose surgery to address problems with her breathing.

Working with Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Halep enjoyed a promising 2022 following an injury-hit 2021 campaign, reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and moving up to ninth in the WTA rankings.

However, the two-time major champion has struggled since winning the Canadian Open last month, losing in the first round at the US Open.

Prior to her success in Canada, Halep was forced to retire in the second round of the Citi Open after enduring breathing difficulties, and the ongoing problem prompted surgery this week, with Halep disclosing she also elected for cosmetic changes to the nose.

The former world number one will miss the final events on the WTA Tour this year, but she explained the procedure was necessary.

She wrote on Twitter: "As you all know already because I've talked about it many times, in February, I was very close to stopping tennis because I didn't believe I have enough power to come back to top 10. I was going through many anxious moments and I thought it is time to stop cause it is emotionally unhealthy. 

"Then I was lucky to discover Patrick's academy where I felt so much passion that it gave me back my passion for tennis. Thanks to Patrick, I slowly started to believe that I still can play a good level of tennis.

"My goal was very clear: I gave myself one year to get back to top 10. And faster than I ever expected, in only two months, I was back to top 10. Goal achieved!

"But then, when I lost at the US Open, I realised that I'm completely exhausted mentally. Having problems with the breathing for many years already and becoming worse with the time, I decided to follow the advice of my doctors and do the needed surgery.

"I could never do it earlier because I never found the necessary three months for the recovery, because tennis was always the first priority in my life. But I felt it's the right time to do it and also to do something for myself as a person.

"That is why I did also the aesthetic part, that I wanted to do for a long time as I did not like my nose at all. So I did it, I solved the functional part and the aesthetic part.

"I don't know how long the recovery will take, for the moment I am not thinking about anything but recovery. What is sure, is that this year I won't be able to compete in any official tournament anymore.

"My 2022 season is over. 2022, you have been an interesting year full of everything! See you on court, 2023! I feel I still have a lot to do on a tennis court and still have some goals."

 

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina advanced to the third round of the Slovenia Open after a convincing 6-4 6-1 victory against Tereza Martincova on Wednesday.

Rybakina, who in July became Kazakhstan's first ever grand slam champion, was too strong for her Czech opponent, creating 14 break point opportunities in the match while only facing two herself.

Her first serve accuracy was not great at 52 per cent, but she was devastating when she landed it fair, converting 21-of-24 chances.

Rybakina will face Lesia Tsurenko in the next round after the Ukrainian upset fifth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

Second seed Beatriz Haddad Maia also had no issue navigating the challenge of Cristina Bucsa 6-1 6-4, and she will meet Ana Bogdan in the third round after the Romanian defeated Tamara Zidansek 6-1 6-7 (7-5) 6-1.

Meanwhile, in India at the Chennai Open, popular Canadian Eugenie Bouchard collected consecutive wins for the first time March 2021 following a lengthy recovery from shoulder surgery.

The 28-year-old defeated Karman Kaur Thandi 6-2 7-6 (7-2) as she looks to climb back up the rankings, currently sitting 902nd in the world after peaking at number five back in 2014.

Earlier in the day, sixth seed Qiang Wang was upset by Japanese qualifier Nao Hibino 6-2 6-3, while fifth seed Rebecca Peterson was also eliminated, going down 6-4 6-2 to Linda Fruhvirtova.

Wrapping up the day's action, Canada's Rebecca Marino booked a potential showdown with third seed Magda Linette after beating Poland's Katarzyna Kawa 7-5 6-3.

Serena Williams joked NFL superstar Brady "started an amazing trend" as she hinted at a possible return to tennis in the future.

Williams, a 23-time grand slam champion, revealed before the US Open she was soon to retire from the sport, with her Flushing Meadows run widely expected to mark the end of her career.

The 40-year-old exited her home major at the hands of Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round but was unwilling to categorically state if she was retiring.

Speaking at a news conference after that loss to Tomljanovic two weeks ago, Williams said: "I've come a long way since last year at Wimbledon. I'm just not sure if that was my last moment or not."

Some of the biggest names from around the sporting world have since paid tribute to Williams, but she has offered a further indication she is not done just yet.

"Tom Brady started an amazing trend. That's what I want to say," Williams said during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Brady announced his retirement in February after 22 seasons in the NFL, only to reverse that decision 40 days later by agreeing to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I think retirement is something that is super earned and that people work really hard for," Williams added.

"I feel like I'm at an age where I definitely have a lot more to give and there's a lot more that I want to do, so I'm not going to be relaxing, there's so much more for me.

"I feel it's more of an evolution of Serena. There's many things I've been wanting to do for so many years, and I've had such a passion for tennis for so long I've never done them.

"Now it's time for me to start to enjoy those things."

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina came from a set down against Laura Siegemund to secure her place in the second round of the Slovenia Open.

Siegemund won the first set on a tie break, but Kazakhstan representative Rybakina stormed back to win the second before winning a tense 10-8 tie break in the crucial third set, surviving a match point in the process.

The world number 25's victory sets up a second round meeting with Tereza Martincova, who overcame a poor first set to beat Harriet Dart 0-6 6-4 6-1.

At the Chennai Open, top seed Alison Riske-Amritraj was beaten in straight sets in an upset defeat to world number 147 Anastasia Gasanova.

There were no such upsets for the second and third seeds though, as Varvara Gracheva and Magda Linette both cruised to victory to clinch their safe passage to the second round.

Elsewhere, Katie Swan beat Arianne Hartono 6-1 6-2 while India's number one singles player Ankita Raina was knocked out of her home tournament by Tatjana Maria.

Emma Raducanu was not able to see out victory against Dayana Yastremska at the Slovenia Open as her opponent retired when two points from defeat.

Raducanu, returning to action after a first-round loss at the US Open, where she had been the defending champion, looked set to ease past Yastremska.

The Briton did advance to the second round, but only courtesy of a premature conclusion to the match.

Raducanu led 6-2 5-3 and was 30-0 up in her own service game when Yastremska retired, complaining of a wrist injury.

Yastremska has previously been accused of gamesmanship for similar antics; of her now six career mid-match retirements, all have come with her a break down and about to lose, with four coming in a potentially decisive game.

Her decision to quit at this year's Australian Open was particularly unpopular, with Madison Brengle on the brink of inflicting a third-set bagel.

However, Raducanu did not look to criticise Yastremska after this latest contentious finale.

"Obviously no one wants to win by retirement," the top seed said. "But Dayana is an extremely ferocious competitor, so I knew it was going to be a tough match going in."

Fellow seeds Beatriz Haddad Maia, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Anastasia Potapova all also progressed in Portoroz.

At the Chennai Open, only eighth seed Chloe Paquet was subject to a scalp against Karman Kaur Thandi, with Rebecca Peterson and Eugenie Bouchard among the other victors.

Robert Lewandowski has paid tribute to "great champion" Iga Swiatek following his compatriot's US Open triumph.

Swiatek became the first Polish singles champion at Flushing Meadows after defeating Ons Jabeur in straight sets on Saturday.

It was the world number one's second grand slam success of a brilliant season, having won a further six WTA titles including the French Open in June.

The 21-year-old became the first woman to triumph at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows in the same campaign since Serena Williams in 2013.

Swiatek and Lewandowski are among the pre-eminent Polish sports stars of this generation and shared an embrace on Court Philippe Chatrier following the former's success in Paris.

The Barcelona striker, who was on target in the Blaugrana's 4-0 win at Cadiz this weekend, celebrated his compatriot's latest victory, hailing the 10th WTA title of her career on social media.

"Congratulations Iga!" he tweeted. "You're a great champion, and you've proven it yet again on the biggest stage. I am so happy for you."

World number one Iga Swiatek ominously declared "the sky is the limit" for her after claiming her third grand slam title with Saturday's victory over Ons Jabeur in the US Open final.

Swiatek added the 2022 US Open title to her two French Open crowns (2020 and 2022) with the 6-2 7-6 (7-5) victory over fifth seed Jabeur in one hour and 51 minutes.

The 21-year-old, who also made this year's Australian Open semi-finals, is only the seventh female player in the Open Era to win her first three grand slam finals, alongside Virginia Wade, Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty.

The Pole's dominance in those finals is underlined by the fact she becomes the first player to win 10 consecutive WTA-level finals in straight sets since 2000. She is also the second female player in the Open Era to win her first six sets in grand slam finals since Lindsay Davenport.

Swiatek is the first woman since Maria Sharapova in 2008 to win her third grand slam title before the age of 22. She is also the first woman to win two majors in one year since Angelique Kerber in 2016.

"At the beginning of the season I realized that maybe I can have some good results on WTA events," she told reporters. "But I wasn't sure if I was on the level yet to win actually a grand slam, especially on US Open where the surface is so fast.

"It's something that I wasn't expecting. It's also like a confirmation for me that sky is the limit. I'm proud, also surprised little bit, just happy that I was able to do that."

When pressed on her potential future dominance, she added: "I still have to realize that it's tough out there, so I want to stay on the ground.

"For now I've got to settle with what's happening right now. I'm going to see how I'm going to react. Because also winning US Open is different than winning a slam in Europe or in Australia because I don't know how the popularity thing is going to change, if it's going to change.

"For now I'm kind of going to observe and learn. For the future, I know I still have a lot to improve on court. That's something that I'm excited for because maybe it's just going to get easier to play these matches."

Swiatek's US Open triumph comes after an unconvincing lead-up on hard courts, losing early in tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati.

The three-time major winner had gone on a 37-match winning run earlier in the year, including many victories on her preferred clay surface, before losing in the third round at Wimbledon in June.

Swiatek found it hard to compare her US Open triumph to her Roland Garros victories but admitted winning on the hard court was special.

"Roland Garros I always feel like I have more control and I feel like Philippe Chatrier is kind of my place," she said. "Here on Ashe, I still need to figure out the atmosphere. I wasn't sure before the match if this is actually my place.

"I was pretty focused and I didn't let myself get into these thoughts. I don't know if it's more than the second win on Roland Garros because I feel like back then the pressure was really on and everybody was kind of expecting me to win.

"Here I managed to go ahead of my expectations, and also I feel like people were not expecting a lot from me on hard court. So mentally I think Roland Garros was little bit tougher. But tennis-wise and physically here for sure it was tougher."

For Jabeur, the defeat means back-to-back runner-up finishes at majors after losing the Wimbledon final to Elena Rybakina in July. The Tunisian, however, remained determined to break through for a maiden grand slam title.

"Definitely Wimbledon was tough," Jabeur said. "This one is going to be tough. It's part of tennis. Winning or losing is part of it and unfortunately it is me. I struggled to win my first WTA title. It took me time so I believe this will take me time.

"The most important thing is accepting it, learning from the finals that I lost. But definitely I'm not someone that going to give up. I am sure I'm going to be in the final again. I will try my best to win it."

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