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Coco, Sloane make Emilia-Romagna Open semis with easy wins

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Parma (Italy), May 20 (IANS) In a battle between American teenagers, No. 3 seed Coco Gauff came out winner with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 5 seed Amanda Anisimova in the quarterfinals of the Emilia-Romagna Open on Thursday.

Coco, who has moved up five places to No. 30 in the latest WTA rankings, will take on Czech Republic’s world No. 68 Katerina Siniakova in the semi-finals.

Katerina continued her stellar week in Parma with another upset of a seeded player — No. 8 seed and world No. 53 Caroline Garcia of France — with a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

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Another American, world No. 65 Sloane Stephens, also stormed into the semifinals on Thursday, as the 2017 US Open champion defeated home hope Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0 in a battle between former top-5 players.

Seventeen-year-old Coco, a semifinalist at last week’s Italian Open, made it to the final four in two straight weeks after dispatching her 19-year-old compatriot in one hour and 20 minutes.

It was the first professional meeting between Coco and Amanda, who had a high-profile junior clash when they faced off in the 2017 US Open girls’ singles final. Amanda, who had just turned 16 at the time, defeated then 13-year-old Coco in straight sets in the championship match.

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This time around, on the clay courts of Parma, Coco turned the tables, winning 72 per cent of the points behind her first serve and breaking 40th-ranked Amanda six times to clinch victory.

Coco has now won 18 of her last 24 matches on Tour, after improving to 5-2 in WTA quarter-finals in her career.

–IANS

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akm/arm

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