Nadal avenges Madrid loss

Up to the quarter-final stage of the Rome Masters, Rafa Nadal could be said to have had a fairly torrid time and when he faced Alexander Zverev for a place in the last four, many expected the German, last week’s Madrid Masters winner, to maintain his winning form over...

Pliskova to meet Ostapenko in Rome quarters

Karolina Pliskova is the sole seed in the lower half of the draw and takes on Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, in the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, while Petra Martic and Jessica Pegula will contest the last quarter on Friday.

Barty cruises, Gauff stuns Sabalenka and Svitolina swats Muguruza

World No 1 Ash Barty remains on track to add the Rome title to her expanding collection but must overcome Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals, who upset Aryna Sabalenka, the Madrid champion, at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday, while Elina Svitolina took out...

Nadal one point from defeat

Rafa Nadal’s invincibility on clay is being tested more regularly than you would expect and makes his forthcoming challenge at Roland Garros in a few weeks’ time, the more intriguing.

Jo Konta and Venus Williams enter Nottingham

British No 1 Johanna Konta and 10-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will headline this year’s Nottingham Open field, the first of the returning LTA summer grass court events.

Osaka leads march of seeds out of Rome

On a day of major upsets at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the underdogs prevailed, seeing off seeds Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, and Maria Sakkari in a procession of upsets at the Foro Italico in Rome.

Nadal back on track

Rafa Nadal, playing his first match at the Foro Italico following his quarter-final loss to Alexander Zverev at last week’s Madrid Masters, declared himself happy with his performance in overcoming Jannik Sinner in straight sets, but not so with the scheduling by the...

Konta follows Bencic and Mertens out of Rome

Seeds started to tumble at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, with Belinda Bencic and Elise Mertens followed out of the draw by Jo Konta, while Garbiñe Muguruza and Angelique Kerber were among those to win through on Tuesday.

Kvitova, Brady, Swiatek and Sakkari open Rome accounts

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia got under way at the Foro Italico in Rome on Monday, with some of the seeds in action and coming through unscathed, although Petra Kvitova had to come from a set down against Magda Linette to advance, while Jennifer Brady won in...

Evans crashes out of Rome

Dan Evans excellent run on clay over the past few weeks came to an end in the first round of the Rome Masters when h suffered a very-bad tempered loss to Taylor Fritz.
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Jabeur books WTA Charleston final with Sharma

Top seed Ons Jabeur has lost just 13 games to reach the final of the MUSC Health Women’s Open, including her 6-3 6-0 drubbing of Danka Kovinic on Saturday, to book a title showdown in the WTA 250 tournament in Charleston against Australia’s Astra Sharma.

In the tiebreak, I thought I did a good job, holding my nerve, weathering the storm of her good shots. I thought she's such a clean ball-striker, such a tough opponent that I was mentally prepared for her to hit those. I tried my best to beat her with my physicality, [to] wear her down. Astra Sharma

Jabeur avenged a straight-sets loss to Kovinic in the semi-finals of last week’s Volvo Car Open on the same green clay courts of Daniel Island, shaking off some apparent queasiness late in the first set and needing 10 set points to pocket, finally converting with a backhand winner.

“She didn’t give me any free points,” the Tunisian said of the Montenegrin. “It was a tough game for both. I’m glad I responded well for the next game.”

Kovinic, who fell to Veronika Kudermetova in last Sunday’s final, was down 2 breaks when she dug in again, late in the second set, saving 4 match points before Jabeur flicked a winner past her.

Jabeur, who is at a career-high ranking of 27th in the world, earned a meeting with 165th-ranked Sharma, who cooled off red-hot Colombian teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, 7-6(5) 6-1.

Sharma, 25, ended the 19-year-olds 8-match winning streak, which had included the first title of her career last week in Bogotá.

Trailing 5-6 in the first set, Sharma saved 4 set points to force a tiebreak, which she edged after converting her only set point.

“In the tiebreak, I thought I did a good job, holding my nerve, weathering the storm of her good shots,” Sharma said. “I thought she’s such a clean ball-striker, such a tough opponent that I was mentally prepared for her to hit those.

“I tried my best to beat her with my physicality, [to] wear her down.”

The Aussie recovered from losing her opening service game in the second set to produce 3 straight breaks as she moved 5-1 ahead before holding to love and grabbing her first match-point chance to win, 7-6(5) 6-1.

Ons Jabeur has not dropped a set in reaching the final and avenged last week's loss to Danka Kovinic in the semi-finals

©  Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Sharma is into her second career WTA singles final and, like Jabeur, is aiming to win her first title at this level here.

“She’s obviously playing really well,” Sharma said of Jabeur. “I’m really excited. I’ve never played her. I can’t wait to get out there.

“I’m playing really well and it will be fun to match up and see how I go.”

Jabeur and Sharma are meeting for the first time and, for the second straight week in Charleston, someone is going to win a maiden title.

In the doubles final, the American team of Hailey Baptiste & Catherine McNally will face Australia’s Ellen Perez & Storm Sanders on Sunday.

The MUSC Women’s Health Open was a late addition to the WTA Tour calendar after the Billie Jean King Cup Finals set for this week was cancelled and Volvo Car Open tournament director Bob Moran and owner Ben Navarro agreed to stage a second event, a WTA 250 event with a 32-player draw, in Charleston to fill the gap.



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