Federer beats del Potro in Swiss Indoors final

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BASEL, Switzerland — Roger Federer finally beat Juan Martin del Potro in a Swiss Indoors final, winning 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 Sunday to go clear in second place on the Open era title list.

Federer’s 95th ATP tournament win – the eighth in his hometown Basel event where he was once a ballboy – lifted him out of a tie with Ivan Lendl, trailing only Jimmy Connors who has 109.

The top-seeded Federer succeeded on the same court where he lost the 2012 and 2013 Basel finals to del Potro.

Federer rallied from a break down in the decisive set and clinched when the fourth-seeded Argentine sent a service return long.

Trailing in the second set, the 36-year-old Swiss had slammed his racket on the net cord in frustration when wasting a break-point chance.

Federer improved to 7-1 in finals this season. They include his previous event, the Shanghai Masters two weeks ago, and Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

He now has a 18-6 lifetime record against del Potro, who has a 3-2 edge over Federer in finals.

Federer served for the first set with a 5-4 lead – before del Potro immediately broke back – and let a 3-0 lead slip in the tiebreaker.

Del Petro reeled off six straight points in the tiebreaker, including one after a 23-shot exchange, then clinched with his third set point keyed by a strong serve.

Both players had break-point chances early in the second set, and Federer hit his racket on the net cord after spurning his with a backhand volley sent wide.

Federer gifted del Potro a chance to break with two double faults but held with strong serves.

Forcing two set points on del Potro’s serve, Federer took the second when seeing his opponent’s baseline forehand fly long.

They traded service breaks to open the decisive set, and Federer stood head bowed for several seconds with his hands on the net when a wild forehand gifted del Potro his chance.

On the next point, Federer netted a backhand volley to fall behind 1-0, though soon leveled with a fierce forehand winner.

Federer broke again for a 3-1 lead and served out the match under little pressure.

Top-ranked Swiatek, Kvitova reach quarters at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Top-ranked Iga Swiatek advanced to the quarterfinals of the Agel Open after Ajla Tomljanovic retired with an injury during the second set of their second-round match on Wednesday.

The Polish U.S. Open champion was leading 7-5, 2-2 when her Australian opponent retired due to a left knee injury at the indoor hardcourt event in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava.

Swiatek, who also won the French Open in June, will next face American qualifier Catherine McNally or Karolina Muchova.

Home favorite and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova upset second-seeded Paula Badosa of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against this year’s Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina, who rallied to eliminate Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5.

Czech players also won the last two first-round matches on the schedule.

Muchova knocked out seventh-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-4, 6-4 and Barbora Krejcikova ousted American Shelby Rogers 6-2, 6-2 for her sixth straight victory after she won the Tallinn Open on Sunday for her first WTA title of the year.

Djokovic near flawless to reach second round in Astana

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan – Novak Djokovic delivered a near-flawless performance to ease into the second round of the Astana Open with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Cristian Garin on Wednesday as he goes for a third straight tournament title.

Djokovic dropped just six points on his serve and won the last five games to seal the win in just 62 minutes.

Djokovic is coming off a victory in Tel Aviv last week and – aside from a match at the Laver Cup – the Wimbledon champion hasn’t lost since the French Open quarterfinals.

“From the start to the end, (it was) a great performance,” Djokovic said. “Playing in a new tournament, different conditions, the first match is never easy. Obviously you are looking to see how you are going to adapt, but I did it perfectly, really, played as well as I can.”

Djokovic will next play Botic van de Zandschulp.

Top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz lost in the opening round on Tuesday in his first match since winning the U.S. Open title to capture the No. 1 spot.

Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the quarterfinals by beating 19-year-old Luca Nardi of Italy 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3). Nardi was playing just his fifth tour-level main-draw match and impressed the third-seeded Greek, who didn’t earn a single break point.

“He’s a player that can play very well in the future,” Tsitsipas said. “There weren’t any holes. I believe today he was able to sustain that level from the beginning to end, and that was extremely impressive.”

Roberto Bautista Agut also reached the quarterfinals as he followed up his first-round upset of Felix Auger-Aliassime by beating Pavel Kotov 6-1, 7-6 (5).

Marin Cilic, who lost the Tel Aviv final to Djokovic, had to come from behind to beat Oscar Otte 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the first round to set up a round-of-16 match against Karen Khachanov.