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Baghdatis beats top-seeded Pouille at Open Sud de France

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MONTPELLIER, France — Veteran Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus beat top-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-6 (2), 6-7 (3), 6-4 on Thursday to reach the Open Sud de France quarterfinals.

Baghdatis, a 2006 Australian Open finalist, served for the match at 5-3 in the second set. But Pouille, who lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Novak Djokovic at this year’s Australian Open, fought back to take it into a third set.

The 33-year-old Baghdatis next faces Radu Albot of Romania, who labored into the last eight by beating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4.

Earlier, third-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada used his strong serve to beat Marcel Granollers 6-4, 7-6 (1).

The 19-year-old wild-card entry did not face break point and won 30 of his 33 first-serve points against the Spanish veteran.

Shapovalov was one of only two players to take a set from Djokovic at last month’s Australian Open, but he has yet to win a career title on the ATP Tour.

He next faces seventh-seeded Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who rallied to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win against Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.

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.

Thiem advances at Argentina Open; Ferrer out

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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.