AP Images

Zverev hits 50 wins by beating Haase at Swiss Indoors

Leave a comment

BASEL, Switzerland — Alexander Zverev became the first man to reach 50 wins on the ATP Tour this season by beating Robin Haase 6-4, 7-5 Wednesday in the first round of the Swiss Indoors.

The second-seeded German moved to 50-16 in a season that has brought three titles, including the Madrid Masters.

Zverev converted all four of his break points while saving eight of the 10 held by the 47th-ranked Dutchman.

Haase used a between-the-legs lob to force a break in the second set that Zverev retrieved with his own `tweener into the net.

Third-seeded Marin Cilic now has a 1-3 record in October after losing 7-5, 7-6 (2) to the 93rd-ranked Marius Copil of Romania in a second-round match.

Taylor Fritz of the United States joined Copil in the quarterfinals by beating Swiss wild-card entry Henri Laaksonen 6-2, 7-5.

Also in the first round Wednesday, fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the 40-win mark in beating Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-6 (3). Tsitsipas came to Basel from winning his first career title in Stockholm on Sunday.

Jack Sock, the fifth-seeded American, was eliminated by Ernests Gulbis, 7-5, 6-4. Gulbis also beat Sock in the Stockholm quarterfinals last week.

Roberto Bautista Agut, the eighth-seeded Spaniard, advanced to the second round by beating Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3.

Fognini stuns Nadal 6-4, 6-2 to reach Monte Carlo final

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MONACO (AP) Fabio Fognini ended Rafael Nadal’s long winning streak at the Monte Carlo Masters, stunning the defending champion 6-4, 6-2 Saturday to reach the final for the first time and hand Nadal his first defeat here since 2015.

The 13th-seeded Italian had beaten Nadal twice before on clay, and also once at the U.S. Open in five sets, but this was arguably the most impressive.

Not since the 2005 final, a five-setter which Nadal won in four sets, had the 11-time champion Nadal been beaten 6-0 in a set here. And Fognini came so close to doing just that.

He served for the match at 5-0 and 40-0, but Nadal saved three match points – and some pride – by breaking back and then holding.

Serving again for the match at 5-2, Fognini hit a superb forehand down the line to clinch victory on his fourth match point.

Nadal’s last defeat here was also in the semifinals, against Novak Djokovic in 2015. He had not lost a set at the clay-court tournament since conceding one in the second round against Britain’s Kyle Edmund in 2017.

Fognini next plays unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic in their first-ever meeting, and one few would have predicted happening here.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic earlier staged a remarkable comeback from 5-1 down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1.

Lajovic won 10 straight games to open up a 4-0 lead in the second set before Medvedev finally held serve. But after saving one match point, the Russian player tamely hit a return long on his opponent’s next opportunity.

It could have been an all-Serb semifinal but Medvedev knocked out the top-ranked Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Saturday’s match started in difficult conditions, with a heavy wind coming in from the Mediterranean.

Serving for the first set at 5-1, Medvedev dropped his serve and remonstrated with himself.

Lajovic clinched the first set on serve, with Medvedev completely mistiming the ball and sending it skyward.

The 28-year-old Lajovic was ill before the tournament and said he needed antibiotics to recover.

He struggled to describe his surprise run.

“Incredible … Unreal,” he said, before settling on “It’s been a great week.”

Lajovic stages comeback to reach Monte Carlo final

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MONACO (AP) Unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic staged a remarkable comeback from 5-1 down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1 in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals on Saturday.

Lajovic won 10 straight games to open up a 4-0 lead in the second set before Medvedev finally held serve. But after saving one match point, the Russian player tamely hit a return long on his opponent’s next opportunity.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic now plays in his first career final against 11-time champion Rafael Nadal or 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini.

It could have been an all-Serb semi but Medvedev knocked out top-ranked Novak Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Saturday’s match started in difficult conditions, with a heavy wind coming in from the Mediterranean blowing clay around the court.

Serving for the set at 5-1, Medvedev dropped his serve and remonstrated with himself.

He had good cause.

The first-set turnaround was complete when Lajovic clinched it on serve, with Medvedev completely mistiming the ball and sending it skyward.