Top seeds advance; Tsonga to retire after Roland Garros

The top two seeded players, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and Paula Badosa of Spain, earned second-round wins on Wednesday in the rain-delayed Credit One Charleston Open in Charleston, S.C.

Sabalenka, the No. 1 seed, defeated American Alison Riske, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the season’s first clay-court event for her first victory since late February. No. 2 seed Badosa advanced with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Hungary’s Anna Bondar in the round of 32.

Madison Keys of the U.S., the No. 9 seed who was the 2019 Charleston champion, moved on with 6-3, 6-1 victory over Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway, and sixth-seeded American Jessica Pegula rolled past Jasmine Paolini of Italy, 6-2, 6-1. Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine knocked off the No. 5 seed, Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Other winners included third-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 10th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, 12th-seeded Alize Cornet of France, 15th-seeded Amanda Anisimova of the United States, Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu, Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi and the United States’ Coco Vandeweghe and Claire Liu.

The last two matches of the night were postponed due to rain and lightning. Fourth-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia led the United States’ Emma Navarro 6-3, 5-2 when their match was halted. Seventh-seeded Leylah Fernandez of Canada and Magda Linette of Poland never got underway.

Copa Colsanitas

Tatjana Maria of Germany upset third-seeded Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-1, 6-4 in the round of 16 in Bogota, Colombia.

In other matches, Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine defeated Sara Errani of Italy, 6-3, 7-6 (3); Elina Avanesyan of Russia beat Lucrezia Stefanini of Italy, 6-2, 6-2; Laura Pigossi of Brazil ousted Ekaterine Gorgodze of Georgia, 6-3, 6-2; and Mirjam Bjorklund of Sweden eliminated Yuliana Lizarazo of Colombia, 6-1, 6-4.

Reilly Opelka advances to Houston quarterfinals
Third-seeded Reilly Opelka rallied to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston, beating qualifier Mitchell Krueger 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in an all-U.S. matchup on Wednesday.

Opelka finished with a 15-1 edge in aces, and he took advantage of all three of his break points.

In another all-U.S. showdown, Michael Mmoh, a lucky loser from qualifying, beat Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-4. Wild-card entrant Nick Kyrgios of Australia got past seventh-seeded Tommy Paul of the United States 6-4, 6-2.

Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer needed just 64 minutes to rout U.S. wild-card entrant J.J. Wolf 6-1, 6-1.

Grand Prix Hassan II

Eighth-seeded Laslo Djere of Serbia cruised past Tunisian wild-card entrant Malek Jaziri 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals in Marrakech, Morocco.

Djere dominated with his serve, never facing a break point, winning 83 percent of his first-serve points and 75 percent of his second-serve points.

Italian Lorenzo Musetti also moved into the quarterfinals, downing Spain’s Carlos Taberner 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3.

First-round winners Wednesday were Belgium’s David Goffin and three qualifiers: Russia’s Pavel Kotov, Bosnia’s Mirza Basic and the Czech Republic’s Vit Kopriva.

Tsonga to retire after Roland Garros

Former world number five Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will play his final tournament at next month’s French Open, he said on Wednesday, announcing his decision to bow out of the sport at his home Grand Slam.

Tsonga, 36, has struggled with injuries in recent years and claimed only his second win since 2019 in February after missing almost the entire 2020 season with a back injury and posting a 1-8 record last year.

“My head tells me, ‘But you can play all your life,’ and at the same time your body reminds you that your abilities to surpass yourself are no longer there,” Tsonga said in a video shared on his social media channels.

Tsonga finished runner-up at the Australian Open in 2008 and has reached another five Grand Slam semi-finals.

He has won 18 ATP titles, including two Masters 1000 tournaments, since turning professional in 2004 and also won an Olympic silver medal in doubles at the London Games in 2012.

“I hope that I will stay in shape before and be able to be who I always have been at this tournament,” added Tsonga, referring to Roland Garros, which runs from May 22-June 5.

“The goal is to be myself, to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the tennis player… I have always set myself high goals to try to get what I can. For me, this will be the opportunity to do it one last time.”

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