Rybarikova outlasts top seed Mladenovic at WTA Elite Trophy

Mladenovic will now have to beat Julia Goerges in their match later in the week to have any chance of reaching the final four.

Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova clinched her first victory of the WTA Elite Trophy on Wednesday, beating top seed Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (5) in a thrilling encounter lasting 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Rybarikova made an impressive start, firing two aces on her way to winning the first set over her French opponent in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province.

The 29-year-old, ranked 22 in the world, struggled with injury during the majority of the second set, and after ceding a 1-4 lead, took a medical timeout.

Mladenovic, unaffected by the break, raced to a second-set win, in which she hit 13 winners and only five unforced errors.

The players exchanged early breaks in the final set but Rybarikova clinched the decisive lead in the tiebreak, before sealing the victory on her seventh match point.

"I am happy that I went through this match because conditions were tough and I had some problems with my leg," Rybarikova said after the match.

"I was saying to myself that I had to win this match because I had so many match points and it would be really cruel to end the season like this."

Rybarikova improved her record in the Azalea Group to 1-1 after dropping her first match to Julia Goerges on Tuesday.

Mladenovic will now have to beat Goerges in their match later in the week to have any chance of reaching the final four.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty moved to the top of the Rose Group with a convincing 6-4, 6-1 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Barty broke the Russian's serve four times and served nine aces in the victory and will qualify for the semifinals outright, should she beat Angelique Kerber on Thursday.

"To qualify for this week is just a massive bonus," Barty, the youngest player in the draw at 21, told reporters.

"And now to get a win, I can just look forward to the match tomorrow and try and go out there and play with freedom again."

Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova cruised past reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-3 to avenge her quarterfinal loss in New York.

The tournament in Zhuhai features the leading players on the women's tour who didn't qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore last week. The 12-player tournament is divided into four groups of three, with the winner of each group advancing to the semifinals.

Rybarikova outlasts top seed Mladenovic at WTA Elite Trophy

Robin Haase returns the ball to Germany's Alexander Zverev during their second-round Paris Masters match at Bercy Arena on November 1, 2017. The Dutchman scored an upset 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over the fourth seed.

In Paris, fourth seed Alexander Zverev was dumped out of the Paris Masters on Wednesday by Dutchman Robin Haase in a 6-3, 2-6, 2-6 second-round defeat, AFP reported.

The 20-year-old German lost his composure after easing through the first set, as his bid for a third Masters title of the season was abruptly ended at Bercy Arena.

It was the world No. 43 Haase's first-ever win over a top-five player.

Zverev will next play at the World Tour Finals in London later this month, while Haase goes on to a last-16 tie against either Joao Sousa or 13th seed Juan Martin del Potro.

Zverev was put under pressure from the off as he was forced to save four break points in the opening game, but he broke in game four and served out to take a one-set lead.

The unseeded Haase started to mix up his game well at the start of the second set, though, and reeled off three straight games as Zverev became frustrated.

The 30-year-old continued to send winners past his opponent and broke serve again to force a decider.

Zverev, the youngest player to break into the world's top five since Novak Djokovic 10 years ago, continued to struggle to make any impact on the Haase serve as he fell 2-3 behind in the third set.

Haase grabbed the crucial break with a stroke of luck from a net cord, before completing one of the biggest victories of his career with a run of four games on the spin.

Home hope Lucas Pouille kept his slim hopes of qualifying for the World Tour Finals alive by seeing off Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4.

The 17th seed needs to at least reach the final at Bercy to stand a chance of taking one of the final two places for the year-end eight-man event, but he was handed a boost when given Roger Federer's place in the draw after the Swiss second seed's withdrawal.

American John Isner, who lost in last year's final to Andy Murray, battled to a 7-6 (2), 6-7 (11), 6-3 victory over Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

The ninth seed saw three match points come and go in a marathon second-set tiebreak, but held his nerve to set up a third-round meeting with either Richard Gasquet or Grigor Dimitrov.

Sixteen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal can become the oldest year-end world No. 1 in history later on Wednesday with a win over South Korean youngster Chung Hyeon.

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