Christian Garin wins U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship

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HOUSTON — Christian Garin of Chile won the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Sunday for his first ATP World Tour title, beating Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 at River Oaks Country Club.

Nearly six years after winning the French Open Juniors title, the 22-year-old Garin finally broke through on the tour, spoiling Ruud’s bid to become the first Norwegian winner.

“Casper’s a really solid player,” Garin said. “His forehand is getting better every day. It was a really intense match. What I did well today was to keep playing my game, every game of the match. I think I am playing my best tennis right now.”

Garin got the decisive service break for a 4-2 third-set lead when, ripping a blistering forehand approach shot, he coaxed Ruud into popping up a backhand volley he easily put away. Garin then easily served out in cool and breezy, but sunny conditions.

“I’m disappointed because it was a very close match and one break in the last set went his way,” Ruud said. “I had some chances at 2-all. I tried to stay aggressive and play my game. I made a couple of unforced errors, but I can’t be too disappointed because I went for winners and it was a great match overall.”

Garin will crack the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time.

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late wild card to the red clay court tournament, was playing her first event since losing to Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The Greek player will next face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium after she eased past Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There will be an American in the final eight, however, as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sorribes Tormo had eliminated second-seeded Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the opening round.

Davis will play Mayar Sherif after the Egyptian player defeated Simona Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Also, third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania eased past Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

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PARMA, Italy — Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-seeded Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the opening round of the Parma Ladies Open – marking the third consecutive first-round loss for this year’s French Open semifinalist.

Third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu advanced when Viktoriya Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic beat Oceane Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Also on the red clay courts, Mayar Sherif of Egypt eliminated fifth-seeded Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated seventh-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by beating Romanian qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.