Wawrinka, Cilic make winning starts at Queen’s Club

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LONDON — Marin Cilic hopes another good run at Queen’s Club will stand him in good stead for Wimbledon.

The top-seeded Cilic was champion in 2012 and runner-up in 2013 and 2017. He came close at Wimbledon last year, losing to Roger Federer after suffering from bad blisters in the final.

He made a winning start at Queen’s Club on Monday, beating Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-3, 6-4.

“You can’t live on the glory from last year, you have to show that again,” Cilic said. “The grass-court season, it’s short but it’s sweet as well.”

Another big-name winner was three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, who took apart Cameron Norrie of Britain 6-2, 6-3.

Wawrinka, who spent six months out last year after a double knee operation, suffered a first-round loss at the French Open last month which allowed him extra time to prepare on grass.

“Every day is getting better and in general I’m happy with my level,” Wawrinka said.

Sam Querrey eased past British wild card Jay Clarke 6-3, 6-3 but fellow American Jack Sock, the sixth seed, lost to Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3.

Also, Gilles Muller, a semifinalist last year, beat Denis Shapovalov of Canada 7-6 (7), 7-6 (6).

The majority of the big guns kick off their campaigns on Tuesday; Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic, and defending champion Feliciano Lopez are in action. Andy Murray makes his long-awaited return after an 11-month absence through injury when he takes on Nick Kyrgios.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

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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.

Nakashima takes first ATP Tour title at San Diego

San Diego Open - Finals
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SAN DIEGO – Brandon Nakashima earned his first ATP Tour victory in his hometown, beating friend and fellow Southern Californian Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4 in the San Diego Open final.

“It’s super-special, something you dream of, but to have it happen in my hometown with all my friends and family here, it’s a moment I’ll never forget,” said Nakashima, who had two previous finals appearances. “I hope there are many more moments like this to come.”

Nakashima, a 21-year-old who grew up in San Diego and trained extensively at the event’s site as a junior, clinched the opening set in only 30 minutes. The second set, filled with lengthy rallies, took nearly an hour.

Giron, the No. 5 seed and former NCAA title winner from UCLA, wasn’t able to fend off Nakashima’s persistent ground strokes and well-placed serves. Nakashima had eight aces, six in the first set.

Serving at 5-4 in the second set, Nakashima tallied the match’s deciding two points when Giron pushed an easy volley into the net, followed by Nakashima’s second-serve ace.

He earned $93,090, about half of what received for reaching the third round of the U.S. Open in early September.

Nakashima, who was ranked No. 69 on the ATP Tour, moved up to 48, his highest ranking in nearly three years on tour. Despite the loss, Giron moved up to 53 from 58.

Not only was the singles title claimed by an American, the doubles title also taken by an American duo as the second-seeded pair of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow defeated Australians Jason Kubler and Luke Saville 7-6 (5), 6-2.

The $612,00 event was held at Barnes Tennis Center, which next hosts the $757,900 WTA 500 San Diego Open, Oct. 8-16. That will feature 16 of the world’s top-ranked 20 women pros, led by No. 1 Iga Swiatek.