AP Images

Federer advances to Swiss Indoors final against del Potro

Leave a comment

BASEL, Switzerland — Roger Federer cruised past David Goffin 6-1, 6-2 in the Swiss Indoors semifinals on Saturday to reach an 11th straight final when playing at his hometown event.

The top-seeded Swiss will face Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday, after the fourth-seeded Argentine beat Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4.

The final is a rematch of del Potro’s back-to-back Basel title wins over Federer in 2012 and ’13. The 19th-ranked del Potro also beat Federer in the U.S Open quarterfinals last month.

Federer clinched victory over third-seeded Goffin on his first match point when the Belgian sent a forehand service return long.

Del Potro fired an ace to seal his seventh straight victory over the second-seeded Cilic, who won at Basel last year when Federer was injured.

Federer is a seven-time champion at Basel and victory on Sunday will lift him into clear second place on the all-time title list in the 50-year professional era. The 36-year-old Swiss is tied on 94 with Ivan Lendl, behind Jimmy Connors who has 109.

Federer and del Potro are seeking to win a second straight tournament.

Federer also won the Shanghai Masters two weeks ago, where he beat del Potro in the semifinals.

Del Potro came to Basel direct from winning the Stockholm Open. With victory on Sunday, he will seal his place in the eight-player ATP World Tour Finals lineup in London next month.

Karen Khachanov beats Lucas Pouille to win Open 13 final

AP Photo
Leave a comment

MARSEILLE, France (AP) Big-serving Karen Khachanov secured the second ATP title of his career after beating Lucas Pouille 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 in the Open 13 final on Sunday.

The ninth-seeded Russian had 16 aces in a closely fought contest, winning on his second match point when the third-seeded Frenchman hit a forehand into the net from the back of the court. The pair hugged at the net in a show of sportsmanship.

“I hope there are many more finals between us in the future,” Khachanov said to Pouille. “I felt I was playing good here from the first day. It’s nice to play on a full court in the final, and I hope to come back next year.”

Khachanov, ranked 47th, won his second title in as many finals after clinching the Chengdu Open in China two years ago. Pouille missed out on a second title of the season and a sixth overall. The 16th-ranked Pouille was also runner-up at the indoor event in the southern seaport of Marseille last year.

“I’m from Dunkirk, in the north,” he told the crowd. “But I’m starting to feel at home here.”

As Khachanov held aloft the winners’ cheque for 115,150 euros ($141, 570), Pouille cracked a joke in English.

“You’ve got to pay the plane for Dubai now,” he said, looking ahead to next week’s ATP500 tournament. “Congratulations, I hope there are many more wins for you.”

Khachanov broke Pouille in the third game to take an early control. Pouille broke back with a fine backhand winner down the line to make it 5-5, but then lost his next service game as Khachanov whipped a forehand winner down the right side of the court.

It gave the imposing Russian a second chance to serve for the set and he clinched it with a strong service winner.

After saving two break points at 15-40 in the opening game of the second set, Pouille secured the only break of that set to level the match.

Khachanov hit nine aces in the third set and neither faced a break point until the 12th game on Pouille’s serve.

It gave Khachanov a match point but he missed a fairly routine smash at the net following a rally. Pouille double faulted to give him another chance to win.

Top-seeded defending champion Thiem tumbles out of Rio Open

NBC Sports
Leave a comment

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Top-seeded defending champion Dominic Thiem of Austria tumbled out of the Rio Open on Friday, falling 6-4, 6-0 to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals of the clay-court event.

Thiem won the Argentina Open on Sunday for his ninth career title.

Verdasco will play fifth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy or Alijaz Bedene of Slovenia.

In the other semifinal at Jockey Club Brasileiro, sixth-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina will face Chile’s Nicolas Jarry. Schwartzman beat France’s Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4, and Jarry topped Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 6-3.