Federer wins in Dubai to begin latest bid for 100th title

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Roger Federer’s latest attempt to win his 100th ATP singles title made a shaky start at the Dubai Championships where he overcame Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Monday.

Federer entered the first-round match with a 13-0 record against the German, and broke in the first game to run through the first set.

But Kohlschreiber forced a third set between them for only the third time. In that set, Federer forced an error to break for 2-0 and held, and cruised home.

“(My thinking was to) just somehow get through. Somehow try not to lose,” Federer said. “I’m very pleased I was able to find a way. I actually played a really good third set, I thought.”

Federer won his 99th tour title in October in Basel, and his bid for the 100th has ended so far in two semifinals, then the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Next up for him is Fernando Verdasco, the 2017 Dubai runner-up to Andy Murray. Verdasco beat Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The two other seeds in action beside Federer lost.

Nikolaz Basilashvili, the highest-ranked Georgian in ATP history at No. 19, upset fourth-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 6-1, and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany spoiled seventh-seeded Milos Raonic’s Dubai debut 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Basilashvili will play for a spot in the quarterfinals against defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who beat Indian wild card Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-3.

Nishioka beats Shapovalov to win Korean Open

2022 US Open - Day 1
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SEOUL, South Korea – Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka claimed his second career title after beating fourth seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-4, 7-6 (5) to win the Korean Open.

The 27-year-old Japanese, who beat top seed and world No.2 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, was impressive in defense and his counter-punching style eventually wore down his higher ranked opponent in just under two hours at the Seoul Olympic Park Tennis Center.

The unseeded Nishioka, appearing in his second championship match this year after reaching the Washington final in August, started the brighter and found his rhythm early to claim the first set.

The second set saw momentum change as Shapavolov found his range from the backcourt to take a 3-1 lead. But Nishioka rallied to take the set into a tiebreak where he held firm to win his first tournament since his maiden title at the Shenzen Open in 2018 – where he also beat Shapovalov in their only previous meeting.

The ATP Tour returned to Seoul for the first time since 1996 after the city was awarded a single-year license to stage the Korean Open.

Mayar Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event

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PARMA, Italy — Mayar Sherif became the first Egyptian to win a WTA Tour event by beating top-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3 at the Parma Ladies Open.

Besides earning her first career title, Sherif also notched her first win over a top-10 opponent.

Along with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals this year, Sherif is raising the profile of tennis in North Africa.

The 74th-ranked Sherif actually had to win two matches on Saturday, first overcoming sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals, which were postponed a day due to rain.

The seventh-ranked Sakkari beat Danka Kovinic 7-5, 6-2 in her semifinal earlier Saturday.