US Open champ Djokovic clinches year-end No. 1 for 4th time

1 Comment

NEW YORK — Novak Djokovic’s U.S Open title allowed him to clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking for the fourth time.

The ATP announced Monday, a day after Djokovic’s 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 2 Roger Federer in the final at Flushing Meadows, that the 28-year-old Serbian would add 2015 to 2011, 2012 and 2014 as seasons he finished atop the rankings.

“Knowing I will end the year at No. 1 keeps my mind relaxed,” Djokovic said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I have achieved a lot so far in the season, and I hope I can deliver the same game for the rest of the year.”

He is 63-5 with seven titles, including three at Grand Slam tournaments, and has reached the final at each of his past 11 events. Djokovic beat Andy Murray in the Australian Open final, lost to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final, then beat Federer in the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Djokovic is currently in his third stay at No. 1, for a total of 164 weeks, the sixth most in the history of the computer rankings that began in 1973. Federer holds the record of 302.

There wasn’t much movement at the top of the ATP rankings Monday, although Marin Cilic, last year’s U.S. Open champion, went from No. 9 to No. 14 after losing to Djokovic in the semifinals. Kei Nishikori, the 2014 runner-up, slid two spots to No. 6 after a first-round exit at Flushing Meadows.

The two Italian women who met in the surprising U.S. Open final, champion Flavia Pennetta and runner-up Roberta Vinci, both made big jumps in the WTA rankings.

Pennetta rose 18 spots to a career-best No. 8 on Monday, two days after beating Vinci to become, at 33, the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion. Vinci, who stunned Serena Williams in the semifinals, went from 43rd to 19th.

Williams remained at No. 1 – like Djokovic, she already is assured of finishing the year in the top spot – followed by No. 2 Simona Halep, No. 3 Maria Sharapova and No. 4 Petra Kvitova.

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

Getty Images
2 Comments

PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late wild card to the red clay court tournament, was playing her first event since losing to Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The Greek player will next face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium after she eased past Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There will be an American in the final eight, however, as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sorribes Tormo had eliminated second-seeded Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the opening round.

Davis will play Mayar Sherif after the Egyptian player defeated Simona Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Also, third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania eased past Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

Getty Images
2 Comments

PARMA, Italy — Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-seeded Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the opening round of the Parma Ladies Open – marking the third consecutive first-round loss for this year’s French Open semifinalist.

Third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu advanced when Viktoriya Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic beat Oceane Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Also on the red clay courts, Mayar Sherif of Egypt eliminated fifth-seeded Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated seventh-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by beating Romanian qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.