MONTPELLIER, France — Former champion Tomas Berdych made a winning return to the Open Sud de France on Tuesday with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory over German qualifier Matthias Bachinger.
Berdych, who won the hardcourt title in 2012, saved seven of the 11 break points he faced to win in 2 hours, 12 minutes.
The Czech player will next face eighth-seeded Benoit Paire, who defeated Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 7-5, 6-3. Berdych has won all three previous meetings against the French player.
Also Tuesday, sixth-seeded Jeremy Chardy defeated Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 6-1, 6-1, while Ernests Gulbis, Antoine Hoang and Filip Krajinovic also advanced.
American Denis Kudla lost 6-2, 6-1 to seventh-seeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
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.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Top-seeded defending champion Dominic Thiem of Austria advanced to the Argentina Open quarterfinals Thursday, beating Germany’s Maximilian Marterer 6-4, 6-4.
Thiem will face Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Portugal’s Joao Sousa.
Fourth-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina beat Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to set up a match against Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Ramos-Vinolas beat compatriot David Ferrer 3-6, 7-6 (9), 6-3.
Ferrer promised to retire in May at the Madrid Open. The participation in the Buenos Aires tournament is one of the last of the 36-year-old’s career.