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Linette, Wang through to Guangzhou Open final; Khachanov passes first test at Zhuhai


GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — Top-seeded Magda Linette and local favorite Wang Xiyu advanced to the final of the Guangzhou Open after straight-set wins in the semifinals on Friday.

The 31-year-old Linette, a semifinalist at the Australian Open earlier this year, beat Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-3. The Pole was never troubled, breaking twice in the first set and then breaking her unseeded Kazakh opponent again early in the second set to ease to victory.

Linette will meet 88th-ranked Wang in Saturday's final and is looking for her first title since winning the Hua Hin Championships in Thailand in 2020 and third overall. The only previous meeting between the two was at the tournament in Thailand with Linette winning their quarterfinal match in three sets.

Wang defeated seventh-seeded Greet Minnen 6-3, 6-4. It was her first women's tour semifinal since the Transylvania Open almost 12 months ago. She is yet to win a tour title.

The 22-year-old Wang won an evenly contested first set in 43 minutes as both players spurned several break point chances. Wang then broke the Belgian's service game twice in the second set to race to a 4-1 lead. Minnen rallied to get back into the set but Wang held firm for the win.

At the Zhuhai Championships, top-seeded Karen Khachanov beat Australian qualifier Alex Bolt 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.

The 15th-ranked Khachanov, who had a bye in the first round, broke Bolt in the opening game. In an even second set, the 27-year-old Russian broke Bolt in the ninth game and then held serve to win the match.

Khachanov will play Mackenzie McDonald in the quarterfinals after the sixth-seeded American rallied to beat Belgian Kimmer Coppejans 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Third-seeded Jan-Lennard Struff overcame a second-set stumble to defeat Chile's Cristian Garin 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. The 33-year-old German next faces eighth-seeded Yoshihito Nishioka, who advanced with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) victory over Lloyd Harris.

At the Chengdu Open, Roman Safiullin beat fourth-seeded Dan Evans 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. The No.55-ranked Russian took four of his six break-point opportunities to race to a comfortable win in 86 minutes.

Safiullin next plays Australian Jordan Thompson, who advanced with a straight-set victory over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 7-6 (1).

Christopher O’Connell beat Japan’s Taro Daniel 7-6 (10), 6-4.

Top-seeded players Alexander Zverev, Lorenzo Musetti and Grigor Dimitrov play their second-round matches on Saturday after receiving a bye in the first round.


AP tennis: