Ajla Tomljanovic reached the quarter-finals of the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat, while Sorana Cirstea crashed out in Strasbourg.

Second seed Tomljanovic was a 7-5 6-2 victor against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, reeling off the last four games in succession to advance in Morocco.

Fellow Australian Astra Sharma joined her in the last eight by overcoming wildcard Petra Marcinko 5-7 6-3 6-3.

Kristina Mladenovic had to save a match point after passing up two herself to finally get over the line with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7) success - her first singles win of the year - over lucky loser Tessah Andrianjafitrimo in a first-round clash.

At the Internationaux de Strasbourg, third seed Cirstea stormed to a one-set advantage against Ekaterina Makarova but soon fell away and succumbed to a 1-6 6-3 6-2 loss. 

Magda Linette breezed past Heather Watson 6-1 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals, where she was joined by Maryna Zanevska after the Belgian's 4-6 7-5 6-1 comeback win against Harmony Tan. 

Top seed Karolina Pliskova awaits American Bernarda Pera who defeated Elena-Gabriela Ruse in straight sets, while Anna-Lena Friedsam will take on Elise Mertens after rallying to beat Daria Saville 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

Ajla Tomljanovic secured a routine first-round win over Irene Burillo Escorihuela at the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Morocco, while Magda Linette made comfortable progress at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. 

Second seed Tomljanovic wrapped up a 6-2 6-1 win over her Spanish opponent in Rabat on Sunday, kick-starting her bid to better her second-placed finish at the 2018 edition of the event.

The world number 44, who was beaten by fellow Australian Ashleigh Barty in the Wimbledon quarter-finals after overcoming Emma Raducanu in London last year, is on course for a potential meeting with Croatian 16-year-old Petra Marcinko, who shocked ninth seed Rebecca Peterson to claim a three-set victory.

The Australian Open girls' champion and junior world number one claimed a superb 6-0 2-6 7-5 win over the Swede for her first career top 100 triumph.

At the Internationaux de Strasbourg, meanwhile, eighth seed Linette saw off Varvara Gracheva 6-3 6-0 to reach the round-of-16, setting up a potential tie with Heather Watson.

Elsewhere, Harmony Tan downed Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-1 to set up a potential round-of-16 meeting with Shuai Zhang, who faces Belgium's Maryna Zanevska on Monday.

Elina Svitolina and Simona Halep both fell in the first round of the Qatar Ladies Open, while Garbine Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit eased through on Monday.

Former world number one Halep, champion in Qatar back in 2014, was off the pace as Caroline Garcia claimed just her second win in nine meetings against the Romanian with a 6-4 6-3 triumph.

Number 10 seed Svitolina also suffered an early exit after ending up on the wrong side of an almost three-hour slog, with Tereza Martincova eventually succeeding 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

But fifth favourite Muguruza – a two-time finalist, including in 2021 – did not have much as trouble as she outfought Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 in a second-round contest, with Kontaveit coasting through to round three in similar fashion with a 6-2 6-3 win over Ana Konjuh. 

Jelena Ostapenko, who is a former finalist in Doha and champion in Dubai last week, managed a sixth consecutive victory in the Middle East as she downed Oceane Dodin 6-4 6-2 to reach the second round, while 11th seed Elena Rybakina fell at the first hurdle to Jacques Cristian in a 6-4 6-3 loss.

Angelique Kerber, the 13th ranked player at the tournament, was another surprise first-round loser as she fell 4-6 6-3 6-2 to Jil Teichmann.

Cori Gauff secured her spot in the second round with a straightforward 6-2 6-3 victory over American compatriot Shelby Rogers, while 16th seed Elise Mertens battled to a 6-3 2-6 7-5 win over Jasmine Paolini.

Meanwhile, defending champion Petra Kvitova had no trouble easing past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-1, and Daria Kasatkina edged out Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

Australia and Switzerland secured their spots in the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup and will go up against each other for a place in the final.

Belarus proved no match for Australia, who got the job done across their two singles matches on the day in the Czech Republic.

Storm Sanders got the ball rolling as she comfortably saw off Yuliya Hatouka 6-3 6-3 in the first contest of the day in Group B.

Ajla Tomljanovic was made to work a little harder by Aliaksandra Sasnovich as she lost the first set but eventually rallied to overcome her opponent 4-6 6-2 6-3.

It meant the two countries' doubles meeting was a dead rubber – Belarus at least took the opportunity to avoid a 3-0 annihilation as Sasnovich teamed up with Lidziya Marozava in the 6-4 6-4 defeat of Olivia Gadecki and Ellen Perez.

In Group D, Switzerland and the Czech Republic claimed one victory apiece in the singles – Marketa Vondrousova had too much for Viktorija Golubic in a 6-4 6-2 success that gave the Czechs the upper hand.

But Belinda Bencic levelled things up despite the unenviable task of facing world number three Barbora Krejcikova, emerging with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 success.

Bencic was then involved in the doubles decider as well, getting the better of Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova with Jil Belen Teichmann, their 6-3 6-3 win sealing the semis spot for the Swiss.

The Russian Tennis Federation – who eliminated defending champions France on Wednesday – and the United States are due to contest the other semi-final.

 

 

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.

Garbine Muguruza could not keep the momentum going at the Indian Wells Open after winning a WTA title last week and the former world number one was followed out the door by Maria Sakkari.

Muguruza, who claimed the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic, was surprisingly upstaged 6-3 1-6 6-3 by Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in an upset on Saturday.

Tomljanovic had been 0-6 against top-10 players this year heading into the match but had just enough to edge the fifth seed and two-time grand slam champion with some timely breaks of serve. 

The world number 47 Tomljanovic is into the third round at Indian Wells for the first time in seven appearances and next faces 26th seed Tamara Zidansek. 

"I was really looking forward to playing Garbine, because I did lose [to her] the last couple of times," Tomljanovic said in her on-court interview. "I did try to focus on that one time I beat her [in 2014], and tried to channel that energy, so I was really happy that I got through today."

GOLUBIC STUNS SAKKARI

Sixth seed Sakkari – a semi-finalist at this year's French and US Opens – also fell victim to a shock result, going out 5-7 6-3 6-2 to Viktorija Golubic in their first meeting. 

The pair kept trading service breaks in the opening set, five in all, before Golubic tightened up her game for the final two sets. 

After breaking the Swiss three times in the first set, Sakkari converted just one of four break points the rest of the match. 

Golubic had lost in the first round in her previous two trips to Indian Wells but is now on to the third, where she will face Anna Kalinskaya.

 

ANDREESCU HOLDS OFF RISKE

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu saw a potential straight-sets win slip away before recovering to defeat Alison Riske 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-2.

Andreescu – the defending champion after the 2020 WTA Premier 1000 event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic – led 4-1 in the second set but watched her advantage evaporate as Riske forced a decider, which the Canadian ended up taking comfortably as she faced only one break point in the last. 

Top seed Karolina Pliskova eased past Magdalena Frech 7-5 6-2, while third-seeded Barbora Krejcikova was pushed to a third set before prevailing 6-4 3-6 6-1 against Zarina Diyas. 

Angelique Kerber – the 10th seed and three-time major winner – went the distance to beat Katerina Siniakova 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 7-5, while 15th seed Coco Gauff downed Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 in her debut match at the tournament. 

Ons Jabeur, the 12th seed, prevailed 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 over Anastasija Sevastova and 18th seed Anett Kontaveit – Andreescu's next opponent – moved on when Martina Trevisan retired down 6-3 5-2. 

Ash Barty set up a mouth-watering Wimbledon semi-final against Angelique Kerber by scoring a crushing win over Ajla Tomljanovic on Centre Court.

In the first all-Australian quarter-final at a grand slam since 1980, when Evonne Goolagong beat Wendy Turnbull at Wimbledon, Barty inflicted a 6-1 6-3 demolition in an hour and six minutes.

She is favourite for this title, looking to join compatriots Goolagong and Margaret Court by landing the Venus Rosewater Dish, and delivered a demonstration of dazzling grass-court tennis as Tomljanovic suffered.

Ten years have passed since Barty won the girls' title at Wimbledon, and at senior level her best performance until this fortnight was a fourth-round run two years ago.

Now though, the world number one looks in great shape to take the title on her favourite surface, and add to her tour-leading three titles in 2021, having previously won the Yarra Valley Classic, followed by Miami and Stuttgart.

From 6-1 4-1, there was a slight dip from Barty that gave world number 75 Tomljanovic some hope, but that was soon crushed, the top seed regaining authority with her ground shots and scoring another break before serving out, finishing with an ace.

"It's exciting. She was always going to bring out the very best in me," Barty said. "This is a dream come true, genuinely it is. This is my dream and I'm extremely grateful I've got an opportunity to come out here and have fun and live out what I worked so hard to do. I'm enjoying every minute."

Barty is bidding to become just the fourth women in the Open Era to follow up a junior title by becoming the women's singles champion at Wimbledon, after Ann Jones, Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo.

Facing 2018 Wimbledon champion Kerber on Thursday will be the toughest examination yet of Barty's credentials to achieve that rare double.

"It's the ultimate test. Angie's obviously had success here before and had the best fortnight here possible," Barty said in her on-court interview.

"I love that match-up, I love playing Angie. She's an incredible competitor and knows her way around this court. I hope I can play well and give myself a chance and play a good match."

Data Slam: 

Since 1968, the women's top seed at Wimbledon has gone on to be champion 24 times and runner-up on eight occasions. By reaching the final four, Barty has guaranteed she will stay at number one in the WTA rankings, whatever the result of the Kerber showdown.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Barty – 23/22
Tomljanovic – 5/20

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Barty – 5/4
Tomljanovic – 2/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Barty – 6/11
Tomljanovic – 2/4

British teenager Emma Raducanu has revealed it "felt like the hardest thing in the world" to abandon her Wimbledon fourth-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic.

The 18-year-old grand slam rookie, ranked 338th in the world, pulled out of that match on Monday evening when trailing 6-4 3-0, calling for treatment initially and sobbing in her seat before retreating inside.

Now Raducanu has confirmed she was struggling with her breathing and dizziness, saying she was advised to call it a day by medical experts.

Wimbledon legend John McEnroe faced criticism for suggesting on the BBC that "it just got a little bit too much" for Raducanu.

"How much can players handle?" McEnroe asked. "It makes you look at the guys that have been around and the girls for so long – how well they can handle it. Hopefully she'll learn from this experience."

Raducanu did not mention McEnroe's comments in a statement she issued on social media, where she addressed the circumstances of her exit from the tournament.

Tomljanovic said after the match that McEnroe's remarks were "definitely harsh"; however, Raducanu appeared to share a similar verdict to the American men's tour great, saying that the Wimbledon experience "caught up with me".

"Hi guys, I wanted to let everyone know that I am feeling much better," Raducanu wrote.

"First up, I want to congratulate Ajla on an incredible performance and I'm sorry our match ended the way it did. I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me.

"At the end of the first set, after some super intense rallies, I started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy. The medical team advised me not to continue and, although it felt like the hardest thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court, I was not well enough to carry on."

She added: "Last night will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top. I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger! Can't wait to see what's next on my journey."

 

Raducanu also spoke to the BBC about the sudden end to her campaign, saying she was "glad to have recovered this quickly".

Speaking of the moment when her health took a turn for the worse on Court One, she said: "I found it very difficult to regulate my breathing. It was emphasised by some very long rallies we had towards the end of the first set, which made it tough to keep my composure and breathing in check.

"The beginning of the second set was when I struggled with it the most and when I called the trainer. I don't know what caused it. I think it was a combination of everything that has gone on behind the scenes in the last week, accumulation of the excitement, the buzz. Next time, hopefully, I'll be better prepared."

British teenager Emma Raducanu was forced to retire from her Wimbledon fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic.

The 18-year-old had provided one of the stories of the tournament on her major debut at the All England Club.

Raducanu bravely battled in the first set against an opponent ranked 263 places above her, only to finally be broken and lose the opener 6-4 on 'Manic Monday'.

Tomljanovic seized a swift lead in the second, too, up 3-0 when Raducanu called for treatment.

She appeared to have a stomach issue and sobbed in her seat before retreating inside, with confirmation of her retirement soon following.

"I'm actually really kind of shocked," Tomljanovic said.

"It's obviously so bittersweet because Emma must be really, really hurt if she came to the decision to retire. I know to play as a Brit at home it's unbelievable.

"I'm really sorry for her because I wish we could have finished it. But it's sport, it happens, so I'm really wishing her all the best."

Tomljanovic can set her sights on an exciting first Wimbledon quarter-final against fellow Australian Ash Barty, the world number one.

Shelby Rogers booked her spot in the MUSC Health Women's Open quarter-finals, but fellow seeds Ajla Tomljanovic and Lauren Davis crashed out.

Following her third-round appearance at the Volvo Car Open, Charleston native Rogers moved through to the quarters of her second hometown tournament in as many weeks after easing past qualifier Claire Liu 6-2 6-2.

"I think I was due for a couple of tame matches," said third seed Rogers, who lost to world number one Ash Barty at last week's Volvo Car Open. "I've had quite a few mental battles over the last couple of months, so it's been nice to just take care of business in straight sets, get in and get out."

Next up for Rogers at the WTA 250 event is in-form Montenegrin opponent Danka Kovinic, who upstaged seventh seed Davis 6-1 1-6 6-3 on Wednesday.

Australian sixth seed Tomljanovic was swept aside by teenager Clara Tauson 6-1 6-4, while Nao Hibino beat Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-4 6-3.

Amanda Anisimova, Alize Cornet and Paula Badosa all survived scares on Monday to advance through to the second round of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston.

Number 13 seed Anisimova came from a set down to beat Magda Linette 5-7 6-2 6-3 on Monday, dropping serve only once in those last two sets.

Cornet, who reached the quarter-finals of this event in 2018, needed just under three hours to overcome Bernarda Pera 4-6 6-4 6-4.

Badosa also needed all three sets to see off Varvara Gracheva, the Spaniard hitting back to prevail 3-6 7-5 6-1.

Ajla Tomljanovic and Zarina Diyas were also among those to book a place in the next round, beating Christina McHale and Natalia Vikhlyantseva respectively in straight sets.

In the other WTA Tour event, Copa Colsanitas top seed Zheng Saisai eased past Usue Maitane Arconada 6-3 6-1 and will now face Stefanie Voegele.

Wang Yafan was another Chinese player to advance in Bogota, seeing off Emiliana Arango 6-4 5-7 7-5.

Veronika Kudermetova started the new season in style by beating 10th seed Anett Kontaveit in the first round of the Abu Dhabi Women's Tennis Open on Wednesday.

Kudermetova had won her only two previous singles matches against Kontaveit and maintained that perfect record with a 7-5 6-1 victory.

The world number 46 from Russia broke four times to seal her place in the second round, with Kontaveit winning just 48.4 per cent of points on her first serve in a rusty beginning to the 2021 campaign.

Donna Vekic was another seed to fall at the first hurdle as Bernarda Pera consigned the Croatian to a 7-6 (12-10) 2-6 6-4 defeat at Zayed Sports City International Tennis Centre.

Kirsten Flipkens could face top seed Sofia Kenin in the second round after defeating Laura Siegemund 5-7 7-5 6-4.

Ons Jabeur is aiming to break into the top 10 this year and the 15th seed got up and running for the season by seeing off Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Daria Kasatkina, Yulia Putintseva and Ajla Tomljanovic were among the other players who advanced to round two.

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