Thursday, May 20, 2021

Stephens ends semifinal drought; BNP set for October

Sloane Stephens routed Sara Errani in a matchup of former French Open
runners-up. 2018 photo by Mal Taam
   Sloane Stephens reached her first semifinal in two years today in a matchup of former French Open runners-up.
   The 28-year-old product of Fresno, Calif., routed Sara Errani, a 34-year-old wild card from Italy, 6-3, 6-0 in the Emilia-Romagna Open, a WTA 250 tournament on red clay in Parma, Italy.
   Stephens, who advanced to her first semifinal since Madrid on red clay in May 2019, is scheduled to meet No. 6 seed Qiang Wang of China on Friday. Wang, 29, outlasted No. 2 seed Petra Martic of Croatia 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5 in 3 hours.
   Wang has never lost more than three games in a set in two matches against Stephens, both on hardcourts. They will meet for the first time since September 2017.
   Indian Wells — The BNP Paribas Open is scheduled for October, tournament director Tommy Haas announced today. The dates for the combined ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournament, traditionally held in March, will be announced after the confirmation of the fall calendar by both tours. 
   Ticket, suite and hotel packages are expected to go on sale starting June 21. Last year's tournament was canceled because of the pandemic.
   Indian Wells also will host the World TeamTennis season, usually held in July, Nov. 13-28. Only five teams will participate: the defending champion New York Empire, Springfield (Mo.) Lasers, Orange County Breakers, San Diego Aviators and Chicago Smash. Rosters include former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters (New York), Stephens (Chicago) and Taylor Fritz (San Diego).
   Teams normally play in their cities, but last year's season was held in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., because of the pandemic.
   ATP Tour — In the doubles quarterfinals of the Geneva Open on red clay, No. 3 seeds Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) defeated Marin Cilic of Croatia and Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 7-6 (4). 
   ATP Challenger Tour — In the doubles quarterfinals of the Oeiras (Portugal) Open on red clay, Hunter Reese of Knoxville, Tenn., and Sem Verbeek (University of the Pacific, 2013-16) of the Netherlands beat Goncalo Oliveira of Portugal and Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 2-6, 7-5 [10-3] in a clash of unseeded teams.

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