MARSEILLE, France — Top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas clinched his first title of the year and second of his career after beating 50th-ranked Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the Open 13 final on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Greek had 14 aces and won 84 percent of his first-serve points against the 31-year-old Kazakh, whose only title was nine years ago on indoor hard courts at the St. Petersburg Open in Russia.
“Winning titles is the thing that I am working for,” Tsitsipas said. “It is the biggest satisfaction and the biggest joy in tennis.”
His career is very much in the ascendancy.
Earlier this year, Tsitsipas became the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist since 2007 when he reached the last four of the Australian Open, getting the better of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer along the way.
Tsitsipas did not drop a set in winning the Open 13 title in southern France and also beat Kukushkin for the second time, having won their previous meeting on outdoor hard courts in Dubai last year.
“There was a lot of stress this week because I knew I had to face some good opponents,” said the 12th-ranked Tsitsipas. “When you care a lot, you tend to be more stressed than usual. I am happy that I got through that stress and played the game that I was supposed to play.”
STRASBOURG, France (AP) Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg clay-court tournament on Tuesday because of a right arm injury.
Barty was replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Diana Marcinkevica.
The eighth-ranked Australian said she would not take any risk ahead of the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.
“I gave it my best chance, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing my best tennis,” Barty said. “I’m busy the next two months and I need to look after my body now.”
GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.
Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.
Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.
Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).
Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.
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