Iga Swiatek and Paula Badosa progressed to the third round of the Internazionali d'Italia with ease as the former continued her impressive winning run on Wednesday.

Top seed Switaek, seeking a fifth consecutive title, breezed past Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 6-0 as she became the first female player to win 24 consecutive matches since Serena Williams in 2015.

Badosa followed suit by dispatching Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-1 in just an hour and 17 minutes, teeing up a third-round clash with Daria Kasatkina, who beat Leylah Fernandez 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

Aryna Sabalenka, the third favourite in Italy, also made light work of Zhang Shuai to triumph 6-2 6-0, while fourth seed Maria Sakkari cruised past Madrid Open semi-finalist Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-2.

Sakkari will next face a Rome rematch with Coco Gauff, who defeated compatriot Madison Brengle 6-2 6-4. Teenager Gauff's sole win against Sakkari came at this tournament in the second round last year.

Yulia Putintseva came from behind to beat Garbine Muguruza 3-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-1, and will next meet Ons Jabeur, who made it eight successive main-draw wins by defeating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2.

Seventh seed Danielle Collins also battled past former world number one Simona Halep 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.

There was no such joy for fifth seed Anett Kontaveit as she crashed out to Petra Martic in straight sets, while Jil Teichmann upset former Rome champion Karolina Pliskova in a three-set thriller.

Belinda Bencic, who was ranked as 12th seed, was another early casualty as she fell to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 defeat against American Amanda Anisimova.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pegula secured her third-round spot after Anhelina Kalinina withdrew due to injury, with Victoria Azarenka earning a straightforward 6-2 6-4 victory over Camila Osorio to get a shot at favourite Swiatek in the next round.

Iga Swiatek continued her impressive form as she crushed qualifier Eva Lys at the Stuttgart Open to clinch a 20th successive win and sail into the quarter-finals.

The world number one was far too good for her opponent, as she claimed her 6-1 6-1 victory in slightly over an hour.

Swiatek, 20, last lost a match in February and has not dropped a set since Indian Wells in March, winning each of the last 26 – that is the best such run on the WTA Tour since Serena Williams won 28 successive sets between the 2012 US Open and 2013 Australian Open.

Having won each of the past three events she has entered, Swiatek is the hot favourite to make it four on the bounce in Stuttgart, where she could meet reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu next in the last eight.

Raducanu, seeded eighth, began her campaign with an emphatic 6-1 6-2 win over Australia's Storm Sanders on Wednesday to set up a second-round clash with Tamara Korpatsch – the winner faces Swiatek.

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova overcame compatriot Petra Kvitova 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-5) to progress, while Anett Kontaveit – the fifth favourite – saw off Angelique Kerber 3-6 6-4 6-4.

It was a bad day for some of the higher seeds in the Istanbul Cup, as three of the top five were eliminated.

Favourite Elise Mertens retired from her tournament opener with Rebecca Peterson due to a leg injury, though the Belgian was already 7-5 4-1 down.

Anhelina Kalinina and Jil Teichmann – seeded fourth and fifth, respectively – suffered surprise defeats as well.

Defending champion and second seed Sorana Cirstea appeared in danger of following them out as well, but rallied to defeat Arantxa Rus 3-6 6-1 7-5.

Ajla Tomljanovic also progressed, the Australian enjoying an impressive start against her countrywoman Jaimee Fourlis, winning 6-1 6-3.

Naomi Osaka is through to the third round of the Miami Open after beating former world number one Angelique Kerber in straight sets.

Osaka won the first three games of the match to jump out to an early lead, securing the set with a double-break before breaking early in the second to cruise to a 6-2 6-3 win.

The story of the match was Osaka's ease in winning points against Kerber's serve, winning 41 per cent (15/37) of Kerber's successful first serves, while the German could only win 11 per cent (3/27) in the same category.

Britain's top-ranked woman Emma Raducanu suffered another early exit, on the wrong end of Katerina Siniakova's comeback 3-6 6-4 7-5 win.

World number five Anett Kontaveit slipped out of the Indian Wells Open after a 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5)  loss to Marketa Vondrousova.

Kontaveit was the second-highest seed remaining in the tournament entering Monday's play, and appeared to be on her way through to the fourth round after breaking twice in the opening set.

Yet Vondrousova got the better of her Polish opponent in a topsy turvy second set, forcing a decider that starter in frantic fashion, with a concession of serve in each of the opening five games.

Vondrousova held to end that street yet was pulled back to 4-4 by a resurgent Kontaveit, though the Czech world number 33 eventually closed the match out at the fourth time of asking in the tie-break to tee up a clash with Veronika Kudermetova.

Iga Swiatek thrashed Anett Kontaveit on Saturday to win the Qatar Ladies Open title.

The world number eight triumphed 6-2 6-0 to win her first Tour title of 2022 and the fourth of her career.

Swiatek, who has now claimed two titles at the WTA 1000 level, won the final 10 games of the contest as Kontaveit was powerless to stop her nine-match winning streak coming to an end.

The 2020 French Open champion Swiatek has only dropped 11 games in the four finals she has won.

Kontaveit fought back to 2-2 after an early break of serve, but that was the last time she would win a game as Swiatek took control.

Having survived break points to see out the opening set, Swiatek powered through the second, dropping just four points on serve as she raced to victory in 66 minutes.

Swiatek has now won her last three matches against Kontaveit, taking the overall head-to-head record to 3-2 wins in her favour.

Anett Kontaveit defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets, while Iga Swiatek overcame Maria Sakkari to secure her place in the Qatar Ladies Open final.

Swiatek advanced to the Doha showpiece for the first time after managing her first win over Sakkari in four attempts with a 6-4 6-3 triumph on Friday.

The Pole was in imperious form as she delivered 20 winners to overcome sixth seed Sakkari in an hour and 28 minutes, collecting her seventh top-10 win and second straight such win after defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals.

The seventh seed will now meet Kontaveit, who continued her impressive streak with a 6-1 6-4 win over Ostapenko in just 68 minutes.

Ostapenko headed into the clash on a career-best nine-match winning run, but succumbed to her fourth loss in five meetings with the fourth seed in Qatar.

Ostapenko did have back-to-back break points at 5-5 in the final set, but Kontaveit managed to hold on for victory.

"She can outplay anyone, and then she might not find the consistency sometimes, so you have to be ready for that," Kontaveit said of Ostapenko.

"I was trying to play a consistent match and just do my best on my serve and hold on to it, especially in the second set when I was a break up.

"Sometimes when she's on fire, her returns are unplayable and it's just very difficult.

"But I kept repeating to myself, 'I'm really good at serving it out, I'm really good at serving it out,' and eventually managed to do that.

"How you approach the match, how you're approaching the service games, I think if you're trying to be aggressive [...] that has a lot of effect on the serve."

It will be the seventh final that Kontaveit has contested since last August, converting those appearances into five titles so far. Kontaveit and Swiatek share a pair of wins apiece in previous clashes.

Anett Kontaveit remained on course for a sixth title in seven months, progressing to the Qatar Open semi-finals after defeating Ons Jabeur in straight sets.

Champion in St Petersburg two weeks ago, Kontaveit extended her winning run to eight matches following a 6-4 6-1 success.

The opening set was neck and neck until Kontaveit won 15 out of 16 points from 30-30 at 4-4 to draw first blood and establish a 2-0 lead in the second.

The Estonian, who registered just 12 unforced errors throughout the contest, then took 12 of the last 15 points to advance to the last four. 

"At times, it was just kind of fun because I felt like the level was really good, and I was playing really well," said Kontaveit, who has won nine of her last 13 matches against top-10 opposition.

"I think I have this confidence that I can go deep every week that I'm playing, and I'm not setting these mental barriers to myself that I used to do. 

"I'm very happy with being in the semi-finals, but I also feel like I can still go deeper, I can still do more. So, I'm not too satisfied yet with this result. I feel like if I play well or if I'm consistent, I have a chance with anyone.

"I'm really happy that I'm bringing a good level of tennis consistently every tournament. I think that's something that I'm just most pleased with."

In the semi-finals, Kontaveit will face another in-form player in Jelena Ostapenko, who saw off Garbine Muguruza in straight sets.

Having triumphed in Dubai last week, the 15th seed has now recorded nine successive victories for the first time in her career after prevailing 6-2 6-2.

Ostapenko struck 39 winners and claimed 15 of 18 points on her opponent's second serve as she moved a step closer to a maiden title in Doha, having reached the final six years ago.

Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek is through to her first WTA 1000 semi-final on a hard court after a 6-2 6-3 win over Aryna Sabalenka.

The former French Open champion won seven out of eight breakpoints, while reeling off six successive games in the second set to secure a comfortable victory.

Next up for her is Maria Sakkari, who recorded her third win against Coco Gauff in four meetings after prevailing 6-3 6-3.

The sixth seed is through to her sixth semi-final at WTA 1000 level or above – and targeting her first such title.

Two of the top three seeds crashed out of the WTA Qatar Open in the round of 16 as Barbora Krejcikova and Paula Badosa both lost, though top seed Aryna Sabalenka is through to the quarter-finals, along with Coco Gauff.

Sabalenka eased past Jil Teichmann 6-2 6-1 in Doha, winning an impressive 70 per cent of her second serves as she rarely gave her Swiss opponent any hope in a match that lasted just over an hour.

The Belarusian will now play Iga Swiatek in the last eight after the seventh seed beat Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-0.

Number two seed Krejcikova was eliminated by the winner in Dubai last week, Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3 6-2. The Czech struggled to get going and ended the match with seven double faults to her name.

World number four Badosa fared no better as she also lost in straight sets to Gauff 6-2 6-3, with the 17-year-old winning a dominant 77.1 per cent of points on her first serve.

Badosa is the joint-highest ranked player that Gauff has defeated, along with Naomi Osaka, who was also ranked fourth in the world when she lost to the teenager at the 2020 Australian Open.

Gauff will now face Maria Sakkari after the Greek defeated another American, Jessica Pegula.

Ostapenko will go up against reigning WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza who convincingly defeated Madison Brengle 6-0 6-2.

Number four seed and St Petersburg champion Anett Kontaveit is through after a topsy-turvy clash with Elise Mertens 6-3 0-6 6-2 and will come up against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur.

Defending champion Petra Kvitova and former world number one Victoria Azarenka were both forced to withdraw from the WTA Qatar Ladies Open through injury on a day where the top seeds all cruised through in Doha.

Kvitova – who won the 2018 and 2021 editions of the tournament, beating Garbine Muguruza in the final on both occasions – was left unable to continue during her clash with Elise Mertens, later tweeting that an injury to her left wrist had flared up during the second set.

Her conqueror Mertens will face fourth seed and WTA St Petersburg champion Anett Kontaveit in the round of 16 after the Estonian's win over Ana Konjuh on Monday.

Meanwhile, Azarenka joined Kvitova in announcing her withdrawal through injury, suffering pain in her left hip ahead of her scheduled clash with American Madison Brengle.

The tournament's top seeds had more luck on a day of few surprises. World number two Aryna Sabalenka breezed to a 6-2 6-2 victory over France's Alize Cornet, with the Belarusian the favourite for the first WTA 1000 event of the year as world number one Ashleigh Barty is missing through injury.

Elsewhere, world number three Barbora Krejcikova made light work of Poland's Magda Linette, winning 6-1 6-3, and will face former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the round of 16, having eliminated the Latvian from last month's Australian Open.

Paula Badosa also recorded a straight-sets victory, seeing off Clara Tauson 6-1 6-2 to reach the last 16, where she will face 17-year-old American Cori Gauff, who defeated France's Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

There were also three-set wins for top-10 players Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur, with Swiatek beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2 3-6 6-2, and Jabeur overcoming Aliaksandra Sasnovich 1-6 7-5 6-3.

In the final match of the day, world number six Maria Sakkari downed American Ann Li 6-3 6-3.

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.

Anett Kontaveit clinched the WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy title, fighting back to win an enthralling three-set final against world number seven Maria Sakkari on Sunday.

The Estonian, ranked ninth in the world, won her sixth career singles title after recording a tense 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win over her Greek rival, in a clash between the tournament's top two seeds.

The victory means Kontaveit leads Sakkari for head-to-head victories, winning seven of their 13 meetings to date, and stretched the champion's remarkable run of indoor wins to 20 matches.

She was made to suffer before recording her first title of 2022, winning the eagerly awaited clash after a gruelling three hours of tennis.

Sakkari struck the first blow, winning a tense opening set as she targeted a first WTA 500 title of her career.

Kontaveit responded strongly and forced a decider by winning a tight second via a tie-break.

Greek top seed Sakkari found herself one service game from victory after a strong start to the third set, before Kontaveit's counter-attack arrived.

Kontaveit rallied after going 5-3 down by registering consecutive breaks, before comfortably seeing out her final service game, and has now won five of her last six singles finals.

Maria Sakkari will face Anett Kontaveit in what seems set to be an enthralling top-10 clash in the final of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

Sakkari, the top seed in the tournament, had to go the distance against Irina-Camelia Begu, with the world number seven eventually prevailing 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

That victory took Sakkari three hours and four minutes, as she had to fight back from a break down in the deciding set.

However, she is now into a fourth singles final of her career and has gone one better than her previous best run at St Petersburg, which came in 2020 when she reached the semi-finals.

"It was a very tough match. I think Begu played really, really well," Sakkari said.

"The level of the match was super high. I had to come up with some very tough shots and very physical tennis, but I'm very glad I did it, and I'm super excited to be in the final here."

Second seed Kontaveit awaits in Sunday's final, and the Estonian world number nine should be much fresher after only needing an hour and 11 minutes to see off Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-4.

Kontaveit has remarkably now won 19 matches in a row indoors in the longest such sequence since Justine Henin celebrated 22 consecutive victories between 2007 and 2010.

"It was a very competitive match. I really had to bring very good energy to come through on top today," Kontaveit said.

"She's a very aggressive player, so I had to be really ready for her big shots and just be as consistent and take my chances when I could. I felt like I did that really well today."

Sakkari and Kontaveit have met 12 times previously, with each player winning six times.

Maria Sakkari is handling the pressure of playing as top seed in a WTA Tour-level tournament for the first time, as she put herself to within one win of the final at the St Petersburg Ladies Open.

The Greek world number seven saw off a stern test from Elise Mertens on Friday, winning 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 to reach the semi-finals.

Sakkari had to salvage three set points in the opener, but eventually came out on top in the tie-break at the first time of asking.

Even with a comfortable lead in the second set, she failed to take the first three match points on offer, but got the fourth over the line to progress to her first semi-final of the season.

Sakkari, 26, previously reached the St Petersburg semi-final in 2020, where she lost to Elena Rybakina.

"When you're down in the score, you try to play more aggressively and [Elise] was playing really good in the last couple of games," Sakkari explained. 

"She came up with good serves and solid shots from the baseline. I just fought hard."

Next up

Irina-Camelia Begu stands in the way of Sakkari and a place in the final. 

The unseeded Romanian overcame two-time grand slam champion Petra Kvitova in the last 16 and defeated Tereza Martincova 6-4 6-2 in her last-eight tie.

It took just 85 minutes for Begu to secure her place in a fourth semi-final of her career at WTA 500 level or higher, but the first since 2017 in Moscow.

Kontaveit continues remarkable indoor run

World number nine Anett Kontaveit will face Jelena Ostapenko in the other semi-final, after ousting Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Belinda Bencic 7-6 (9-7) 6-2.

After her defeat of Bencic, second seed Kontaveit has now won 18 successive matches at indoor tournaments. She is the first player since Justine Henin in 2010 to go on such a streak.

Last year, the Estonian won titles in Ostrava, Moscow and Cluj-Napoca, which form part of this run.

Ostapenko, meanwhile, beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 to take her place in the last four. The 2017 French Open champion has only lost to top-10 players so far in 2022 (Paula Badosa and Barbora Krejcikova).

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. 

Seeds Anett Kontaveit, Belinda Bencic and Elise Mertens all came through their first round matches at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Monday.

Eighth seed Mertens came back from a break down in the deciding set to beat Alize Cornet 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Mertens, who had not beaten Cornet since 2018, will face either Petra Martic or Kamilla Rakhimova in the next round as she bids to reach her first quarter-final of 2022.

"It was a very tight match," Mertens said. "It could go either way, it was a battle. It's always difficult against her but I just kept fighting.

"I think I raised my level a little bit in the second and third sets. I stepped more into the court, the service was a bit better and I ran better."

Second seed Kontaveit needed three sets to get past Jil Teichmann, ultimately prevailing 6-3 1-6 6-3, while number five seed Belinda Bencic squeezed past Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-5).

In Monday's other game, Ekaterina Alexandrova defeated Camila Giorgi 6-2 1-6 6-2.

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