Andreescu, Kecmanovic win at Indian Wells

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — A couple of teenagers are shaking things up at the BNP Paribas Open.

Bianca Andreescu, an 18-year-old Canadian, routed two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza 6-0, 6-1 in 52 minutes Wednesday to reach the semifinals.

Miomir Kecmanovic, a 19-year-old Serb ranked 130th in the world, became the first lucky loser to reach the quarterfinals at Indian Wells since 1990 when Yoshihito Nishioka retired in the second set.

The kids are all right, indeed.

Andreescu won the first nine games against Muguruza. The 20th-seeded Spaniard called for her coach trailing 4-1 in the second set. He urged her to “change something.”

“I felt like every time I was trying something different she was coming up with better shots,” Muguruza said. “She was keeping her high level all the time.”

Andreescu broke Muguruza at love and then served out the match after a deuce game, hitting consecutive forehand winners.

Andreescu has been stretched to three sets just once, in the first round. She then beat 32nd-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, Stefanie Voegele and No. 18 seed Wang Qiang before taking out Muguruza in her Indian Wells debut.

Andreescu is the third wild card in tournament history to reach the semifinals. Serena Williams was the last in her return to the desert in 2015.

“It’s incredible what I’ve achieved the last couple months,” Andreescu said in an on-court interview. “I’m beyond grateful.”

She was runner-up at Auckland and made the semifinals in Mexico before coming to the desert.

Kecmanovic is making history of his own.

He became the first lucky loser to reach the quarterfinals since the tournament achieved Masters 1000 status in 1990. The 27-year-old Serb got into the main draw when Kevin Anderson withdrew before his opening match with an elbow injury.

“It will be funny that somebody other than Novak is still in,” Kecmanovic said of top-ranked Djokovic, his famous countryman who was upset on Tuesday.

Nishioka retired after losing the first set 6-4, having first sought treatment on court.

Kecmanovic got another dose of luck when he received a wild card for next week’s tournament in Miami.

“I’m going to get a ticket because this is just nice,” he said, joking about buying a lottery ticket.

Kecmanovic next plays 13th-seeded Milos Raonic, who beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal defeated qualifier Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 and remains on track for a potential semifinal against five-time champion Roger Federer in the bottom half of the draw. The top half was rocked by the upsets of Djokovic and No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev.

“The difference between players is not huge. It’s small gaps,” Nadal said about the upsets. “Is true that for the last 10 years didn’t happen very often.”

Krajinovic hadn’t dropped a set in winning his first three main-draw matches after two wins in qualifying to get into the $8.3 million event. But he couldn’t overcome Nadal, who lost his serve just once in the 1 1/2-hour match in sunny and windy conditions.

“Probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday,” Nadal said. “Maybe because of the conditions.”

Next up for Nadal is the winner of a fourth-round match between John Isner and Karen Khachanov.

Federer took on Kyle Edmund and Philipp Kohlschreiber, who knocked out Djokovic, played Gael Monfils later Wednesday.

The upsets weren’t limited to the men’s draw. Naomi Osaka, the world’s top-ranked woman, also lost in straight sets a day earlier.

Sonego beats Bublik at Moselle Open to win 1st title of 2022

Winston-Salem Open - Day 5
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METZ, France – Lorenzo Sonego clinched his first title of the season by beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the Moselle Open final.

The 27-year-old Italian did not drop a set all tournament as he won the third title of his career and first on hard courts.

The unseeded Sonego recovered from 0-40 down in the fifth game of the match and secured victory when the seventh-seeded Bublik sent a backhand return long.

He then danced on court as he celebrated a perfect tournament where he also beat defending champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals.

Sonego’s win will move him up 21 places in the ATP rankings and into 44th place.

Samsonova beats Zheng to win 3rd WTA title in 2 months

Toray Pan Pacific Open - Day Seven
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TOKYO – Liudmila Samsonova extended a remarkable summer run by clinching her third title in two months after beating rising Chinese player Zheng Qinwen 7-5, 7-5 at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

No. 30-ranked Samsonova won in Washington and Cleveland in August and also reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open. The 23-year-old has now won 18 of her last 19 matches and didn’t drop a set in Tokyo.

“It’s amazing. I think I need a little bit of time to realize it, but it’s unbelievable,” Samsonova said. “It was like a nervous match today. I was really prepared physically but I was tired mentally because I was playing singles and doubles every day. I’m very happy with the way I managed the pressure.”

Samsonova added that the exclusion of Russian players from Wimbledon had helped her game though she stopped short of supporting the move.

“Wimbledon for me is the best tournament. I love it. The news really impacted me. I had one month without a tournament so I thought let’s work,” she said, adding: “I don’t agree that politics should be involved in sports because it’s unfair.”

The match between two power hitters with big serves was close throughout but Samsonova was striking the ball cleaner and stronger.

Zheng, who ousted top-seeded Paula Badosa and No. 4-seeded Veronika Kudermetova, was broken in the first set after giving up her first double fault on deuce in the 11th game.

Samsonova, who defeated Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the first round and former world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza in the quarterfinals, then sent a perfect forehand that landed in the right-hand corner of the court to break the 19-year-old and go 6-5 up. She took the first set with another strong service game that included her third ace.

Zheng was the first to crack in the second set when she handed Samsonova free points with two double-faults in the fifth game. A double-fault by the Russian saw her drop to 0-40 in the next game and the No. 36-ranked Chinese broke back to level at 3-3.

As in the first set, Zheng was broken in the 11th game. A long forehand at deuce gave Samsonova a breakpoint and she converted it with a crosscourt forehand that sent her opponent the wrong way. Samsonova then won her next game to love after three errors by Zheng, clinching the match 7-5, 7-5.

Samsonova has now won all of the finals she has appeared in.

In reaching the final, Zheng became the youngest Chinese finalist at a tour-level event, beating the mark set by Peng Shuai.