Ons Jabeur kept Coco Gauff waiting for a top 10 debut as the Tunisian battled past her teenage opponent to reach the Berlin Open final.

Gauff would have secured a career-high ranking on the WTA list if she had won Saturday's semi-final, but top seed Jabeur took it 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to earn a shot at Belinda Bencic in the title match.

Only world number one Iga Swiatek has won more matches on the WTA Tour than fourth-ranked Jabeur this year, who collected a 29th win as she overcame a 3-1 career head-to-head deficit against Gauff to earn the victory.

Gauff, at 18 years and 98 days, would have become the youngest American to reach a grass-court singles final on tour since Andrea Jaeger was runner-up to Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1983.

It was not to be her day though, Jabeur breaking serve for the fourth time in the match to seal victory, encouraged by a large and vocal Tunisian following.

Reflecting on the match, Jabeur said: "When you play Coco you have to have all the shots. She's a talented player; she's very tough to beat. You can see I've lost already three times against her.

"Sometimes she takes it, sometimes I take it, and it was a great match for both of us."

This is just the second WTA tournament where 27-year-old Jabeur has been a top seed.

"I've tried to act like a number one seed on and off the court, and it's a good pressure," she added. "I'm trying to handle it very well and with the support of our Tunisian people here it's great."

Olympic gold medallist Bencic had earlier claimed an impressive 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 win over Greek second seed Maria Sakkari in the first semi-final.

Jabeur was bettered by Bencic in a hard-fought Charleston final in April, but is determined to secure a different outcome this time.

"I'm definitely going for the final revenge because we played each other at Charleston, and it was a very, very tough match," Jabeur said. "I hope she's tired from today's match."

Rain meant there was no play at the Birmingham Classic on Saturday, with the semi-finals set back to Sunday.

Beatriz Haddad Maia will face 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, while Zhang Shuai tackles Sorana Cirstea.

Naomi Osaka pulled out of Wimbledon on Saturday as tournament officials said the former world number one was suffering with a leg injury.

The announcement came in the wake of Osaka revealing she was considering skipping the grand slam in any case, as she suspected it may feel "like an exhibition".

The All England Club's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing has resulted in the WTA and ATP stripping Wimbledon of all ranking points.

Osaka, who is a four-time grand slam champion, suggested after her first-round exit at the French Open that she was unsure about whether to commit to the grass-court major.

Confirmation of her absence from the event, which starts on June 27, came from Wimbledon as her name was added to a list of withdrawals.

The Japanese 24-year-old has only played Wimbledon's main draw three times in her career, twice reaching the third round. She has yet to go further but has won the Australian Open twice and the US Open on two occasions. Recently she complained of a "stubborn" Achilles problem.

Osaka was joined on the withdrawal list by Eugenie Bouchard, the 28-year-old Canadian who was runner-up to Petra Kvitova at the 2014 Wimbledon championships.

Wimbledon listed Bouchard as absent due to a shoulder problem; however, that told only part of the story.

She is battling her way back up the rankings after injury and disappointing results and said she could not risk using a special entry dispensation on a tournament that will carry no points.

Bouchard wrote on Instagram: "I have decided to withdraw from Wimbledon due to the WTA's decision to not award ranking points at this year's championships.

"Due to my shoulder surgery, I get a limited number of protected ranking [PR] entries. As much as I love Wimbledon and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR entry at a tournament with no ranking points doesn't make sense. I must choose wisely and use my PR at tournaments that will help me get back to where I want to be."

She said she would use her protected ranking grand slam entries for the next US Open and Australian Open.

Coco Gauff reached the first grass-court semi-final of her career by beating Karolina Pliskova at the Berlin Open, teeing up a clash with top seed Ons Jabeur.

Having already recorded her best tour-level run on grass by reaching the final eight, Gauff recorded a superb 7-5 6-4 win over two-time grand slam finalist Pliskova.

Gauff – who reached her first grand slam final at Roland Garros last month, saved four set points in the opener before roaring to victory in one hour and 37 minutes, and was delighted to have overcome a tough opponent in the world number seven.

"I'm super happy with how I played today," Gauff said on court after the win. "Playing her on grass, with her serve, how flat she hits the ball, it was really tough to be honest. 

"A first semi-final on grass is pretty cool, and also I feel like the opponents I've played this week haven’t been easy, especially today, so I'm proud of myself about that."

Gauff will face Jabeur for a spot in the final after the Tunisian fought back from one set down in a 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-2 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who entered the contest having won 26 matches during an impressive year.

The other semi-final will see Maria Sakkari face Belinda Bencic, after the world number six cruised to a 6-0 6-3 win over Daria Kasatkina and Bencic beat Veronika Kudermetova 3-6 6-3 6-3.

In the Birmingham Classic, meanwhile, Simona Halep raced to a 6-4 6-1 win over Katie Boulter to reach the final four, but third seed Camila Giorgi fell to a 6-3 6-2 loss to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia, who has now won eight consecutive games on grass.

While that pair will face off in one of Saturday's semi-finals, eighth seed Zhang Shuai will face Sorana Cirstea in the other. Zhang overcame Dayana Yastremska 7-5 6-4 and sixth seed Cirstea beat Donna Vekic 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Ons Jabeur held off qualifier Alycia Parks to reach the quarter-finals of the Berlin Open, saving set point before winning a competitive second-set tie-break to set up a last-eight clash with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Jabeur took one hour and 31 minutes to overcome her stubborn opponent in the German capital, with the world number four triumphing 6-2 7-6 (10-8) to reach her eighth quarter-final of 2022 – each of which have been at WTA 500 level or higher.

The Tunisian will face Sasnovich for a semi-final spot next time out, with the Belarusian having won 26 matches so far this year (including qualifying draws). Only Iga Swiatek (42) and Beatriz Haddad Maia (29) have more victories so far this season on the WTA Tour.

The other seeds in action in Berlin on Thursday also progressed, with Coco Gauff overcoming Wang Xinyu 6-0 6-4 to tee up a clash with Karolina Pliskova, and Belinda Bencic downing Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 1-6 6-1.

Defending champion Ludmilla Samsonova, however, suffered a 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 defeat to Veronika Kudermetova.

Meanwhile, the Birmingham Classic's top seed Jelena Ostapenko fell to a surprise 3-6 7-5 7-5 last-16 reverse against Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska, who reached her first ever grass-court quarter-final on the WTA tour.

The world number 79 will face Zhang Shuai for a spot in the final four after she fought her way to a 6-2 2-6 7-5 win over Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

Third seed Camila Giorgi will join them in the last eight after recovering from losing her first set against American Lauren Davis to secure a 3-6 7-5 6-2 win.

Rafael Nadal was stepping up preparation for Wimbledon by training on Mallorca's best grass courts on Thursday, an apparently positive sign that he intends to play in London.

The Australian Open and French Open champion said after his Roland Garros triumph at the start of June that he would only appear at Wimbledon if he could compete without needing anaesthetic injections in a troublesome foot.

The 36-year-old said he was given a couple of injections before every match and announced he would undergo radio frequency injections in a bid to feature at the third grand slam of the year.

Nadal is halfway towards a potential sweep of the four majors, defying the foot trouble by producing results that few saw coming. Rod Laver in 1969 was the last man to win all four singles majors in a calendar year.

Spaniard Nadal was pictured by organisers of the Mallorca Championships on Thursday, during a practice session on one of the tournament's plush courts.

Nadal, who hails from the island, is reluctant to undergo major surgery to prolong his career.

Wimbledon starts on June 27, and it is a tournament that Nadal has won twice, in 2008 and 2010.

He leads the all-time list of men's grand slam singles title winners, with 22 to his name now, two more than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have managed.

That is still one fewer than Serena Williams has managed during her stellar career, and the 40-year-old American rolled in to London on Thursday for another tilt at Wimbledon.

Due to injury, Williams has not competed on the WTA Tour since last year's championships at the All England Club.

She has received a wildcard into Wimbledon, where she has been a champion seven times, most recently in 2016.

Williams posted a video on Instagram of her arriving in London with daughter Olympia.

She intends to compete in doubles at Eastbourne, partnering Ons Jabeur, in the week leading up to Wimbledon.

Serena Williams' return to Wimbledon represents a "great example" to other players, according to Nick Kyrgios, who said tennis fans should not take her or other fellow greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, for granted.

Comparing the quartet to four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, Kyrgios says sports fans should enjoy the legends' "amazing" exploits while they still can.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Williams – who has not played competitively since losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon last year – has been handed a singles wildcard to compete at the year's tournament, which begins later this month. 

Williams, now aged 40 and ranked 1,208th in the world, has won seven singles titles at Wimbledon, the last of which came in 2016, and 23 grand slams in total.

Simona Halep eased into the last eight of the Birmingham Classic with a straight-sets win over Harriet Dart.

Home hope Dart was looking for a second successive quarter-final, having beaten Donna Vekic and Camila Giorgi in Nottingham last week en route to a place in the last eight.

However, Halep illustrated the gulf in class between the two in her last-16 clash with Dart, surging to a 6-3 6-2 victory as she prepares to try to regain the Wimbledon title she won in 2019.

The second seed will next face another Briton, Katie Boulter, who beat Caroline Garcia in straight sets. Halep's Romanian compatriot Sorana Cirstea overcame Aleksandra Krunic, while there were also wins for Giorgi, Zhang Shuai and Vekic.

At the German Open, fourth seed Karolina Pliskova needed two hours and 11 minutes to see off former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

The Czech came through a marathon third set that went to a tie-break, Pliskova having been a break down at 3-1 in the third, prevailing 6-4 2-6 7-6 (9-7).

Pliskova broke Andreescu to level the decider at 5-5 and then saved two break points in her subsequent service game before converting her third match point in the tie-break.

It marked Pliskova's first complete win over Andreescu, her only previous success coming via retirement at the 2019 WTA Finals.

"Of course Bianca is a super-tough opponent, she can really give you anything," Pliskova said after the match. "Slices, she can play fast, she can serve really well, she can come to the net.

"So I think there was a little bit of everything in this match. I'm super proud that I was able to turn the match around, because I was losing in the third set. I thought she was a little bit better in the second and third sets, but I stayed in there and I fought and I got my chances in the end."

French Open runner-up Coco Gauff had an easier time of things in her opening match in Berlin, defeating Ann Li 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

Maria Sakkari got the better of Daria Saville 6-1 7-5, Daria Kasatkina came back from a set down to knock out Ekaterina Alexandrova 5-7 6-1 6-1 and Aliaksandra Sasnovich saw off Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-4.

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.

The US Open has announced players from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete in this year’s tournament despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The decision means world number one Daniil Medvedev can defend his title.

While the United States Tennis Association is allowing Russian and Belarusians to enter the tournament, the athletes must play under a neutral flag. The French Open, which concluded on June 5, allowed Russian and Belarusians to compete under the same conditions.

"Alongside the other grand slams, the ITF, the ATP and the WTA, the USTA, which owns and operates the US Open, has previously condemned, and continues to condemn, the unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia," the USTA said in a statement.

"The USTA, standing with these other tennis entities, supported the banning of the Russian and Belarusian Tennis Federations from the ITF, and therefore all international team competitions, and the directive for players from those countries to play under a neutral flag when competing outside of international team competitions."

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, several organisations have banned Russian athletes from participating. Wimbledon, which starts on June 27, announced back in April that Russian and Belarusians would be barred from competing.

"We recognise that each organisation has had to deal with unique circumstances that affect their decisions," the USTA's statement read. "Based on our own circumstances, the USTA will allow all eligible players, regardless of nationality, to compete at the 2022 US Open."

The US Open begins on August 29 in New York.

Serena Williams has been handed a Wimbledon singles wild card after confirming her return from injury after a year out.

The 40-year-old has not played competitively since losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of last year's tournament at SW19 and is now ranked at 1,208 in the world.

Williams hinted at her imminent comeback in a social media post on Tuesday, however, and it has now been confirmed she will take part in the third grand slam of the year.

Twenty-three time major winner Williams will also compete in the upcoming grass-court event at Eastbourne after receiving a wild card in the doubles draw alongside Ons Jabeur.

That will act as preparation for Wimbledon, a competition she has won seven times, the most recent of those triumphs coming in 2016.

Williams is one major title shy of matching Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24, which has been the case since her most recent triumph at the 2017 Australian Open.

She missed last year's US Open on home soil, as well as this year's Australian Open and French Open.

In her earlier Instagram message, Williams posted an image of her trainers on grass and captioned it: "SW and SW19. It's a date. 2022, see you there."

American Williams joins 10 British players on the initial batch of wild cards for the Wimbledon singles, while three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka will also take part.

Serena's sister Venus, a five-time singles winner at Wimbledon, was not named on the initial batch of wild cards but two spots remain up for grabs.

The tournament in London gets under way on June 27.

Serena Williams has appeared to confirm her intention to take part in this month's Wimbledon after a year out injured.

The 40-year-old has not played competitively since losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of last year's tournament at SW19 and is now ranked at 1,208 in the world.

Twenty-three time major winner Williams' future was called into question in April when long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced he was working with Simona Halep.

However, she hinted around the same time that returning to action at Wimbledon was a possibility, and that news was all but confirmed on social media on Tuesday.

Williams posted an image of her trainers on grass and captioned it: "SW and SW19. It's a date. 2022, see you there."

She also tagged Eastbourne, where a WTA event takes place in the week before Wimbledon, which begins on June 27.

Williams has won seven Wimbledon titles, the most recent of those in 2016, having since lost in the 2018 and 2019 finals.

The American is one major title shy of matching Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24, which has been the case since her most recent triumph at the 2017 Australian Open.

She missed last year's US Open on home soil, as well as this year's Australian Open and French Open.

Simona Halep won her first match on grass since 2019 as she cruised past Lesia Tsurenko to reach the second round of the Birmingham Classic on Monday.

Halep's last grass-court match was the impressive 6-2 6-2 defeat of Serena Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final.

While Monday's triumph may not have been of comparable importance, the 6-1 6-4 win was a positive step in Halep's preparation for a return to SW19 later this month.

After saving three break points in the very first game, the former world number one rarely looked in trouble against her Ukrainian opponent, breaking Tsurenko's serve at the first opportunity.

She repeated the feat to go 5-1 up before serving to love to close out the set, though Tsurenko showed a bit more fight at the start of the second – only one of the first five service games was a hold.

Halep ultimately weathered the storm, however, taking her chance to go 5-4 up and once again served to love to wrap up the match.

Seeded second, Halep was the only seed in action on Monday and will meet home favourite Harriet Dart next, with the Brit impressively seeing off Camila Osorio – ranked 45 places better off – 6-2 6-0.

In Berlin, fourth and sixth seeds Karolina Pliskova and Daria Kasatkina secured their passage to the last 16.

Pliskova struggled initially against Kaia Kanepi but went on to produce two near-flawless sets to progress 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-0 – Kasatkina also came from behind, with an ankle injury to Anhelina Kalinina potentially aiding her 5-7 6-3 6-1 victory.

Bianca Andreescu was also among the winners in Berlin, with the Canadian beating Katerina Siniakova to claim only her second career success on grass.

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."

Ekaterina Alexandrova beat top seed Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets in The Rosmalen Grass Court Championship final on Sunday to claim her second career title. 

The world number 30 prevailed 7-5 6-0 against a below-par Sabalenka in just 77 minutes to add to her Shenzhen Open triumph from January 2020.

Sabalenka was seeking an 11th singles title and looked value to do so after cruising into the final in 's-Hertogenbosch, but she was outclassed by Alexandrova.

The pair had dropped just one set apiece in their four matches en route to the final, which went the way of the serve until the sixth game when Sabalenka broke her opponent.

However, she was unable to build on that advantage as Alexandrova hit back in the following game and broke the Belarusian again in the 11th to serve out the opener.

In the first meeting between the pair on grass, Alexandrova completely dominated the second set as she broke all three of Sabalenka's service games in a ruthless showing.

The 27-year-old, who had lost two of her previous three finals, took her second match point to complete the job in a stress-free manner.

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.

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