AP Photo

Hercog beats Swiatek in Samsung Open final; ends seven-year title wait

Leave a comment

LUGANO, Switzerland — Winning her first title since 2012, Polona Hercog beat 17-year-old Iga Swiatek 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in a rain-delayed Samsung Open final on Sunday.

In the 17th singles final on the WTA tour this season, Hercog was the 17th different player to lift a trophy.

Hercog had to wait out a 75-minute, opening-set rain delay in the Swiss Alps before winning her first title in almost seven years. That was in another clay court event, at Bastad, Sweden.

The 28-year-old Slovenian clinched by breaking serve when Swiatek sent a forehand long.

Swiatek, the Wimbledon junior champion playing in just her third main draw, got the quick break in the deciding set before Hercog won six of seven games for victory.

Matteo Berrettini breaks through on grass to win Stuttgart Open

AP Photo
Leave a comment

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.

Playing on two surfaces, Vekic reaches Nottingham semis

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NOTTINGHAM, England — Former champion Donna Vekic finally got to play on grass at the Nottingham Open on Friday but had to overcome multiple rain delays and another switch indoors before reaching the semifinals.

The second-seeded Vekic defeated Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-4 in a match played on two surfaces as rain again played havoc with the schedule.

The opening two days were completely washed out before organizers decided to switch the first and second rounds indoors as rain fell for four consecutive days.

Vekic, who won the tournament in 2017, will play Germany’s Tatjana Maria in her third straight semifinal in Nottingham. Maria earlier defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 7-6 (7) in the only match completed on grass so far at the tournament.

Also Friday, American Jennifer Brady defeated fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-3 to set up a semifinal against top-seeded Caroline Garcia.

Garcia rallied to beat Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 in the last quarterfinal.