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USTA picks new U.S. Open tournament referee, chief umpire

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Soeren Friemel is the new U.S. Open tournament referee, and Jake Garner has been selected to succeed him as the chief umpire for the American tennis major.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced the appointments Thursday.

Friemel takes over for Brian Earley, who retired after 26 years as tournament referee in Flushing Meadows.

The job includes making sure rules and procedures are followed, serving as final authority on all officiating matters and approving officials’ match assignments.

Friemel has been head of officiating for the International Tennis Federation since 2014 and will retain that post.

He was chief umpire at the U.S. Open from 2016-18.

Garner, the chair umpire for 18 Grand Slam finals, now will oversee selection, training and scheduling of U.S. Open officials.

Zverev, Khachanov bounce back at Halle Open

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HALLE, Germany (AP) Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov bounced back from disappointments in Stuttgart last week to reach the second round of the Halle Open on Monday.

Second-seeded Zverev defeated Robin Haase 6-4, 7-5, while Khachanov celebrated his first match as a top-10 player with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.

Nine-time champion Roger Federer is the top seed at the grass-court tournament, a warm-up for Wimbledon. Federer is due to play Australia’s John Millman on Tuesday.

Both Zverev and Khachanov lost their opening matches in the Stuttgart Open. Zverev next faces American Steve Johnson, who defeated former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3, while Khachanov awaits the winner between Jan-Lennard Struff and Laslo Djere.

Matteo Berrettini breaks through on grass to win Stuttgart Open

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STUTTGART, Germany — Matteo Berrettini beat Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6 (11) to win the Stuttgart Open and his third tour-level title on Sunday.

The Italian saved five set points in a second-set tiebreaker and clinched his first title on grass. His other titles came at Budapest in April, and Gstaad, Switzerland, last year.

The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime previously reached championship matches in Rio de Janeiro in February and the Lyon Open in May – both on clay.

Berrettini won all 50 of his service games during the week in Stuttgart. He did not face a break point against Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime progressed to the final in his first professional grass tournament without playing Saturday as compatriot Milos Raonic withdrew ahead of their semifinal due to back problems.