Petra Kvitova recovered from a poor start to beat Magda Linette in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Monday.

Linette took just 31 minutes to win the first set in Rome, but world number 10 Kvitova responded superbly to win 1-6 6-0 6-2.

Two-time grand slam champion Kvitova racked up 16 unforced errors in the first set, yet rallied like the great competitor she has proved to be for so long to ensure she will face Vera Zvonareva - conqueror of Christina McHale - in the second round.

The 11th seed from the Czech Republic said: "The first set I started very badly. I was missing almost everything. On the court... [the ball] was bouncing everywhere as well. A little bit windy. I just had to get used to probably everything.

"The beginning of the second set when finally I held my serve and broke her serve, I think since then it was much, much better."

French Open champion Iga Swiatek advanced when Alison Riske retired at 5-4 down in the first set due to a recurrence of a left foot injury.

Swiatek, who will take on Sloane Stephens or Madison Keys in the second round, made 18 unforced errors but had won four games in a row from 4-1 down when the American was unable to continue. 

Coco Gauff battled past Yulia Putintseva 7-5 4-6 6-4 to set up a meeting with 17th seed Maria Sakkari  - who fended off qualifier Polona Hercog 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-2.

Amanda Anisimova will do battle with Elina Svitolina, a winner of this tournament twice, after defeating Wang Qiang 7-5 6-3. Jessie Pegula, Jennifer Brady and Petra Martic were among the other winners on day one.

Viktorija Golubic won the L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo on Sunday after a straight-sets win over Jasmine Paolini.

A finalist in Lyon and Monterrey in March, the world number 84 claimed a second career WTA125K singles title after a 6-1 6-3 triumph in 67 minutes.

Golubic held her nerve at the key moments in a close contest, landing 75 per cent of first serves and saving five of six break points.

Paolini threatened to make more of a contest in the second set after finally breaking, but the Italian dropped serve with her very next game and saw momentum slip away.

It was Golubic's first title since defeating Jennifer Brady at this level at Indian Wells two years ago.

Viktorija Golubic will take on Jasmine Paolini in the L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo final after both players won their semi-final contests in straight sets on Saturday.

Italian Paolini won 6-3 6-1 against Varvara Gracheva, who was unable to follow up her impressive quarter-final triumph over second seed Rebecca Peterson.

Golubic meanwhile, is the highest-ranked player remaining and the fifth seed eventually prevailed against Harmony Tan.

In a tough contest, Golubic won 7-6 (7-4) 6-3, continuing a strong run of form that also saw her reach WTA finals in Lyon and Monterrey last month.

Second seed Rebecca Peterson was dumped out of the L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo after suffering a 6-4 6-0 quarter-final defeat to Varvara Gracheva. 

Russian Gracheva will face Italy's Jasmine Paolini in the last four after she overcame Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-3 7-5. 

Peterson's defeat means Viktorija Golubic is the highest-ranked player remaining, the Swiss fifth seed cruising past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-0. 

She will face Harmony Tan in the semi-finals after the French player saw off Aliona Bolsova 7-6 (7-3) 6-0.

Aryna Sabalenka will have a shot at redemption when she faces top seed Ash Barty in the Madrid Open final after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets on Thursday.

World number seven Sabalenka squandered a one-set lead to lose to Barty in the Stuttgart Open final two weeks ago.

But she will have another crack at winning silverware in the Spanish capital in Saturday's final against Barty, who saw off Paula Badosa in straight sets in the other last-four match.

"I'm looking forward to the final," she said in her on-court interview. "First of all I will have a good rest and do everything I can to prepare myself as good as I can. 

"It'll be really interesting to play another final against Ash. I think it'll be a great battle. I think everyone coming here can see themselves winning the tournament. I'll do my best."

Sabalenka had not dropped a single set in Madrid in the lead-up to the semi-final and that remains the case after cruising past Pavlyuchenkova in a little over an hour.

The fifth seed converted four of her five break points and won 73 per cent of her second-service points.

Pavlyuchenkova, ranked 41st in the world, lost serve in the fourth and eighth games of the opening set and failed to hold on her first two service games in the second set.

Despite breaking Sabalenka in the seventh game, the Belarussian proved far too strong for her opponent and got over the line with a fourth ace of the match to reach her third final of the season.

Ash Barty saw off Paula Badosa in straight sets to reach the final of the Madrid Open, extending her unbeaten streak on clay to 16 matches.

The world number one triumphed 6-4 6-3 on Thursday, taking her record for 2021 to an impressive 25-3.

Badosa is the only player to have beaten Barty since February, but the Spaniard was unable to pull off a repeat of her upset in their quarter-final clash in Charleston last month.

The world number 62 had become the first Spanish player to reach the semi-finals in Madrid and there was little to split the pair through the opening nine games.

However, when serving at 5-4 down to stay in the set, Badosa suddenly came under pressure.

The wildcard saved two set points but gifted her opponent a 1-0 lead with a double fault. A similar situation early in the second put Barty 3-1 up, though she had to save three break points in her next service game.

After escaping trouble on that occasion, the Australian had no further issues on her way to completing the win after one hour and 15 minutes on court.

Standing in her way of a fourth title this season will be either Aryna Sabalenka or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; they will meet in the second semi-final in the evening session in the Spanish capital.

The in-form Barty has already been crowned champion at the Yarra Valley Classic this year, as well as events in Miami and Stuttgart.

Elise Mertens twice came back from the brink to beat Simona Halep and reach a Madrid Open quarter-final against former doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka.

Third seed Halep was the highest-ranked player in action on Wednesday but came unstuck against Mertens despite taking the opener and leading by a break in each of the subsequent sets.

Mertens emerged a 4-6 7-5 7-5 winner after two hours and 34 minutes, defeating Halep for the first time on clay and only the second time on any surface.

There were opportunities for both players throughout and Halep struck first, losing her break lead in the first but recovering on this occasion.

The Romanian, a two-time winner who has also twice lost in the final in Madrid, twice cancelled out a deficit in the second but could not then capitalise on a lead of her own.

Mertens battled back and broke to love to level the match, then maintained her composure to see out a back-and-forth decider once Halep had again forged ahead.

"She played really well, and she definitely deserved to win because she was stronger in the end," Halep said.

"I cannot say I played bad, but I did some mistakes, important mistakes. Sometimes it's just a little bit and the match is going away."

Sabalenka is up next for Mertens, although she had a much more straightforward path through the third round.

Jessica Pegula held her up for only 52 minutes in a dominant 6-1 6-2 success.

In the same half of the draw, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova upset another seed, following up her straight-sets victory over Karolina Pliskova by beating Jennifer Brady in three. She plays Karolina Muchova next.

At L'Open 35 de Saint-Melo, second seed Rebecca Peterson came from behind to see off Xiyu Wang, while Tamara Zidansek and Arantxa Rus also produced comebacks.

Nina Stojanovic survived three sets, but Christina McHale crashed out to Viktoriya Tomova.

Ash Barty extended her winning streak to 14 matches on clay with a straight-sets defeat of Iga Swiatek at the Madrid Open.

The 2019 French Open champion defeated last year's winner at Roland Garros 7-5 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals in the Spanish capital.

Swiatek herself came into the contest having won 18 consecutive sets on clay and took early control of the contest as she went 3-0 up in the opener.

However, Barty recovered thanks to imperious play behind her serve as she won 80 per cent of all points behind her first delivery and avoided being broken for the remainder of the contest.

The world number one was 0-40 down at 3-2 in the second but rallied to hold before seeing out the win.

Barty will now face ninth seed Petra Kvitova in the last eight after she battled past Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 4-6 6-4.

The three-time Madrid Open champion required just over two hours to beat the Russian, who has won more matches in 2021 (22) than anyone except Barty (23).

"Always playing Ash, it's a great challenge," Kvitova said. "It will be a great match-up. I really will enjoy it. I'm really looking forward for it.

"She has a game for clay. She's sliding. She's playing lots of slice and everything... She likes clay a little bit more than me probably. I like Madrid. So, who knows, right?"

Eighth seed Belinda Bencic is also through after Ons Jabeur retired from their match with a thigh injury. She will now face Paula Badosa, who needed more than two and a half hours to defeat Anastasija Sevastova in three sets.

At the L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo, Alize Cornet suffered a surprise defeat in the first round as Oceane Dodin prevailed in a marathon match.

Dodin knocked out the top seed in two hours and 56 minutes, recovering after letting two match points slip in the second-set tie-break to win 7-5 6-7 (8-10) 6-1.

Third seed Alison van Uytvanck also made an early exit as Anna Karolina Schmiedlova came from a set down to prevail 2-6 7-5 6-3.

But Viktorija Golubic was victorious, the fifth seed winning in straight sets against Clara Burel.

Naomi Osaka suffered a shock second-round exit to Karolina Muchova at the Madrid Open, but there was no such trouble for Simona Halep as she held off Zheng Saisai.

Second seed Osaka was playing just her second match on clay since the 2019 French Open due to injury issues and became the latest big name to fall at the hands of Muchova.

The world number 20, who had already defeated two top-five players this season, prevailed 6-4 3-6 6-1 in a time of one hour and 49 minutes in the Spanish capital.

Osaka has now lost two of her last three matches, having been eliminated from the Miami Open quarter-finals by Maria Sakkari at the end of March.

"I think today for me it was quite different from the last time I lost in Miami, and I actually think I played much better here, so I'm very happy about that," Osaka said.

"I think what I can take away from this is that I tried my best throughout the entire match. I think tennis-wise, I felt I was too defensive in the first set.

"I wouldn't say I’m happy that I lost, but I think I learned a lot. So that's all I can hope for."

Two-time champion Halep has yet to drop a set in this year's tournament after seeing off unseeded opponent Zheng 6-0 6-4.

Halep took nine games in a row at the start of the match but, like in her opening-round win over Sara Sorribes Tormo, she had to hold off a late surge from her opponent to advance.

Next up for Halep is a last-16 showdown with Elise Mertens, who beat Elena Rybakina 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 in the last of Sunday's matches.

Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka safely advanced earlier in the day thanks to a 6-3 6-3 win against Daria Kasatkina, while Sakkari beat Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-1.

Sabalenka was on course to face Victoria Azarenka for a place in the quarter-finals, but the Belarussian withdrew from her match with Jessica Pegula because of a back injury.

Elsewhere, Jennifer Brady, who knocked out fellow American Venus Williams in the first round, eased past Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-1.

Brady faces a tricky test in the next round with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-0 7-5, seeking another scalp.

Ash Barty overcame Tamara Zidansek and her own disjointed performance to reach the third round of the Madrid Open on Saturday.

The Australian triumphed 6-4 1-6 6-3 after nearly two hours on court to extend her winning streak on clay to 13 matches.

Barty will face reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek in the next round, the 19-year-old having eased past Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-3 in a contest where she failed to take 10 match points before getting over the line.

Barty endured a more troubled contest with Zidansek, landing just 51 per cent of her first serves.

Zidansek lost the opener after a wayward forehand at 4-4 but was authoritative in the second as she won a set against a top-10 player for the first time.

However, a series of errors early in the decider allowed world number one Barty to open up a lead she did not relinquish. Barty was champion at Roland Garros in 2019 but skipped last year's Paris grand slam, so the clash with Swiatek will pit together the two most recent French Open winners.

"[It was] a really tough match," Barty said after edging out Zidansek. "I felt my margins were a little bit off. I made a lot of errors. I think I was missing in the right way, but still just a foot or two here or there makes a big difference. I felt like there were probably too many loose ones for me today.

"I don't think there was a lot in it by any means. We had a lot of close games in the first set, early in the second set. In the third, as well, there were a lot of close games. I think the response early in the third was good. I was a bit more aggressive, was able to bring the match back on my terms."

Petra Kvitova set up a meeting with Veronika Kudermetova – who knocked out defending champion Kiki Bertens – after overcoming long-time rival Angelique Kerber 6-4 7-5.

Kerber got the opening break in each set, only to drop serve in the next game, with Kvitova ultimately rewarded for powerful hitting as she ended the contest with 33 winners to her opponent's 14.

"I served very well, especially in the important points," said Kvitova, who leads the head-to-head record 8-6. "I think we really played very well. She even served very well, as well. It was tough to attack her serve."

Fifteenth seed Johanna Konta suffered a straight-sets loss to Anastasija Sevastova, while Ons Jabeur fought back to beat Sloane Stephens.

Naomi Osaka quickly adapted to playing again on clay as she was among the seeds to triumph in Friday's action at the Madrid Open.

Osaka had not featured on the red dirt since a third-round exit at the 2019 French Open, missing out on competing on the surface last year due to injury.

This year's Australian Open champion stumbled out of the blocks against Misaki Doi, quickly falling 3-0 behind in the opener, but recovered from the early setback to prevail in straight sets.

The second seed hit 26 winners in a 7-5 6-2 triumph over her compatriot, who has now lost all three of their meetings on the WTA Tour.

"You obviously want to play well against a player that's from the same country," Osaka said.

"I never really know what to expect because I feel like she always plays better when I play against her, so it's a bit tough to manage controlling my emotions. But I think I was able to do it pretty well."

Simona Halep also won in her opener at the event, the third seed racing through the first set before holding off a fightback from Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second.

Halep – who needed 83 minutes to clinch a 6-0 7-5 victory – has been crowned champion twice in Madrid, the first time coming in 2016 before she returned a year later to successfully defend the title.

Aryna Sabalenka wasted little time in seeing off the challenge of Vera Zvonareva, the fifth seed producing 37 winners in a 6-1 6-2 win, her first ever in the event.

Maria Sakkari found the going much tougher before eventually ousting Amanda Anisimova, losing the first seven games in a row before rallying for a 0-6 6-1 6-4 triumph.

Daria Kasatkina was also pushed in her opener, with a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1) win over Irina-Camelia Begu taking just over three hours.

Karolina Pliskova had to go the distance after falling a set behind against Coco Gauff, while two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka came out on top in a deciding set against Ekaterina Alexandrova.

In the final match on a busy day, Jennifer Brady won 6-2 6-4 in an all-American clash with Venus Williams.  

Jil Teichmann saved six match points in a stunning defeat of Elina Svitolina before Ash Barty breezed into the second round of the Madrid Open on Thursday.

Teichmann produced an astonishing fightback to beat fourth seed Svitolina 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) at the Caja Magica.

Unseeded Swiss Teichmann came from a set and a break down to claim the scalp of the world number five, who squandered a commanding 5-1 lead in the final set.

Svitolina saw six match points come and go in an incredible deciding set, opportunities she was left to rue when the 40-ranked Teichmann won a tie-break to end a contest that took two hours and 33 minutes to settle.

World number one Barty extended her winning run on clay to 12 matches with a 6-2 6-1 success over Shelby Rogers.

Barty claimed her third title of the year in Stuttgart last weekend and the Australian needed just an hour to send Rogers packing, losing just two points on her first serve and not facing a single break point.

French Open champion Iga Swiatek was also an emphatic winner, easing past another American in the form of Alison Riske 6-1 6-1.

Swiatek, making her debut in this tournament, has won 16 consecutive matches on clay after blowing Riske away.

Defending champion Kiki Bertens beat 15-year-old Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva 6-4 6-0, while Petra Kvitova progressed when opponent Marie Bouzkova retired due to hand injury after the Czech won the first set.

Garbine Muguruza was forced to withdraw ahead of her meeting with Sloane Stephens due to a leg injury. Belinda Bencic, Angelique Kerber and Johanna Konta were among the other winners in the Spanish capital.

Sorana Cirstea claimed the Istanbul Open title without dropping a set after overcoming top seed Elise Mertens 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in the final.

Cirstea secured just her second tournament triumph on the WTA Tour – and first since Tashkent in 2008 – in a contest of two contrasting sets on Sunday.

The Romanian dominated in the opener, breaking three times as her opponent committed 16 unforced errors while failing to hold serve.

However, Mertens responded impressively to seize control of the second set, some superb groundstrokes allowing her to open up a commanding 5-2 lead.

Cirstea hit back to take the next four games in a row and while unable to serve out for the match when 6-5 up, she would not be denied a long overdue success in the tie-break.

Victory was secured with a crunching backhand winner on the first of three match-point opportunities, ending a see-saw set that had spanned 67 minutes.

Mertens had reached the final by ending a nine-match winning run for Veronika Kudermetova, who just so happened to be her doubles partner at the event in Turkey.

Ash Barty came from a set down for the third time this week as the world number one continued a superb 2021 with victory at the Stuttgart Open.

Barty overcame Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-0 6-3 to lift an 11th career title and her third of the season after successes at the Miami Open and the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne.

It proved to be another comeback triumph against a top-10 opponent for Barty, who saw off Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.

Sabalenka was ready to seize upon another sluggish Barty start and forced three break points at 3-2 in the opener.

The Australian was able to hang on that time, but Sabalenka fashioned two more and a botched Barty drop shot meant it was fifth time lucky.

The rapid progress of set two suggested Barty had merely been warming up, snaffling her third break point at 1-0 and dispatching a magnificent forehand cross-court winner to surge 4-0 ahead.

A bagel felt inevitable from that point and, after a 20-minute second set, Sabalenka was sinking without a trace when she slipped 3-0 behind in the decider.

The fifth seed broke back before being undermined by an untimely double fault at 3-2 – one of 39 unforced errors – and Barty faced down three break points in the following game.

A superb display, featuring 26 winners and five break points converted from 12 opportunities, concluded when Barty wrapped things up on her second match point.

Ash Barty will meet Aryna Sabalenka in the Stuttgart Open final after Simona Halep's quest to win the tournament for the first time fell short.

World number three Halep had claimed straight-set wins over Ekaterina Alexandrova and Marketa Vondrousova en route to the semi-finals, but met her match in the form of Belarusian Sabalenka, who triumphed 6-3 6-2.

A nine-time singles champion, Sabalenka made it into a 14th career final without conceding a single break, as she managed to keep Romanian Halep at arm's length.

Standing between Sabalenka and a 10th singles title is world number one Barty who, on her 25th birthday, came from behind to defeat Elina Svitolina 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Making her tournament debut in Stuttgart, Barty had overcome Laura Siegemund and Karolina Pliskova, but found herself at 5-4 down in the second set, with Svitolina serving for the match.

The fourth seed failed to take her chance, with Barty breaking and subsequently biting back in the tie-break, before carrying the momentum into the decider to claim a third straight win over Svitolina.

Top seed Elise Mertens made it to her second Istanbul Open as she saw off her doubles partner and birthday girl Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-4.

It means Mertens will be playing in two finals on Sunday, as she pairs up with Kudermetova again in the doubles showdown against Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya.

Mertens' win ended Charleston champion Kudermetova's nine-match winning streak, and set up a final against the unseeded Sorana Cirstea, who defeated Marta Kostyuk 6-4 6-4.

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