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Federer beats Krajinovic in Swiss Indoors first round

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BASEL, Switzerland — Roger Federer was tested by Filip Krajinovic before winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round of his hometown tournament Swiss Indoors on Tuesday.

Seeking a ninth title at Basel – where he has once a ball boy and reached the final in his last 11 appearances – Federer last dropped a set in his opening match 10 years ago.

The top-seeded Swiss seemed in control after winning seven straight games to take the first set and lead by a break in the second.

The 35th-ranked Serb then broke Federer’s serve three times, including back-to-back to clinch the set and level the match.

Federer got the key break early in the deciding set and reeled off five straight points when facing three break chances in the sixth game. He clinched the win when Krajinovic sent a backhand long.

While Federer hit 10 aces, he also had six double faults and landed fewer than half of his first serves.

Federer next plays Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday. The 52nd-ranked German beat Australia’s John Millman, who eliminated Federer at the U.S. Open last month, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Seventh-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who is also in Federer’s half of the draw, beat Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-3, 7-5.

Medvedev next faces Andreas Seppi, the 34-year-old Italian, who eased past qualifier Taro Daniel 6-0, 6-4.

Opelka edges top-seeded Isner to reach New York Open final

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) Reilly Opelka edged top-seeded John Isner the same way he knocked his fellow American out of the Australian Open, winning a match full of tiebreakers Saturday night in a New York Open semifinal that set a record for combined aces in a three-set match.

Opelka fought off six match points in a marathon second set and went on to win 6-7 (8), 7-6 (14), 7-6 (4) to move within a victory of his first ATP title.

The 6-foot-11 Opelka and 6-10 Isner combined for 81 aces and there were no breaks of serve. Opelka hit 43 aces, Isner had 38, and each had only one double fault.

It was similar to their meeting in Melbourne, when Opelka beat the ninth-ranked Isner in a first-round match that went four tiebreakers.

Opelka will play Canadian Brayden Schnur, a qualifier who had never won a tour-level match before this week.

Schnur recovered after blowing a 3-0 lead and eventually the second set to beat American Sam Querrey 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-3.

Schnur was the final alternate accepted into the tournament’s qualifying draw and was nearly gone from Long Island quickly, eventually overcoming two match points to beat No. 3 seed Steve Johnson in the second round.

There was nothing quick about the second semifinal, which lasted 2 hours, 31 minutes and went well past the previous record of 71 aces, set earlier this year in a match between Nick Kyrgios and Ryan Harrison.

Isner was in good position to win in straight sets, taking a 3-1 lead in the tiebreaker when Opelka pushed a forehand long. But he wasted a chance to win the match on his serve, and Opelka then kept erasing the rest of the match points when he served.

Isner had dropped both matches this season, part of a six-match skid dating to the end of last year, before winning his first two matches here in straight sets.

But he was stopped again by Opelka, who fell two aces shy of Ivo Karlovic’s record for most aces in a three-set match.

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Mertens upsets Halep in Qatar Open final

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DOHA, Qatar – Unseeded Elise Mertens came from a set and a break down to beat recent No. 1 Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Qatar Open final and capture the biggest title of her career on Saturday.

Halep led 6-3, 2-0, then lost a service game for a third time to see the second set back on serve. Mertens continued to pressure, missing two more break chances in the seventh game but finally breaking – to love – in the ninth. The set was the first Mertens took from Halep in three matchups.

Mertens broke again to start the third set, Halep leveled at 2-2, but Mertens finished stronger and won her fifth career title.

The Belgian beat two other top-10 players this week, Kiki Bertens and Angelique Kerber.

Halep’s first final appearance since August guaranteed she will rise one spot to No. 2 in the rankings on Monday.