Chardy keen for tips on beating Djokovic in Shanghai

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SHANGHAI — Jeremy Chardy has lost track of how many times he’s lost to Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic. It’s a lot.

Chardy set up a 12th career meeting against Djokovic – he thought it was a 15th – after beating Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the first round at the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

“He keeps on telling me that,” said Djokovic about Chardy crediting him with more wins than he’s actually earned.

“Joking aside, he’s a great guy. I get along very well with him. What I did well in the past in our matchups, I managed to neutralize his first serve, and also take advantage of his second serve, and try to be consistent on my service games, move him around the court, because he’s not the best mover.

“So I try to expose his weaknesses.”

In their 11 previous meetings, Djokovic has won all 26 sets they’ve played.

“I haven’t found the key … so I would like to try something different even if I get killed,” Chardy said while laughing. “It is not easy to believe once you lost all these times in a row and never won a set.

“The way I played the last times just didn’t work. I feel like I already tried different things. If you have an idea. I will listen.”

Chardy saved all three break points he faced in the match against Marterer.

“The courts here are really fast and I was surprised because I didn’t think we had courts this fast on tour,” Chardy said. “Maybe that will help me (against Djokovic).”

Djokovic, who has increased his Grand Slam titles to 14, is back in winning form after going through a nearly two-year period of lackluster results and injury. In January, he finally underwent right elbow surgery after alternate attempts to heal the injury failed.

“I am really glad that I put myself in a position to compete for No. 1 of the world,” the third-ranked Djokovic said. “Four, five months ago, that was looking a little bit far from reach, but with the recent results, I put myself in a pretty decent position to fight for No. 1, year-end No. 1, which of course is always one of the ultimate goals that you have as a professional tennis player.”

Djokovic has won the Shanghai title three times.

The 12th-seeded American Jack Sock is already out of the tournament, losing to Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.

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.