Federer loses to Basilashvili in 2nd match back on tour

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) Roger Federer failed to convert a match point before losing 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Qatar Open quarterfinals on Thursday, his second match back on tour after a 13-month injury layoff.

Basilashvili saved a match point at 5-4 in the deciding set and then broke Federer’s serve in the next game.

It was a second straight grueling three-setter for Federer after his win Wednesday over Dan Evans took nearly 2 1/2 hours. The 39-year-old Federer was playing in his first tournament since the 2020 Australian Open following knee surgery.

And he didn’t seem too upset about the loss.

“I would have loved to play tomorrow, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, I’m also happy to get a rest,” he said. “I’m happy how I played today. I’m happy how I did yesterday. I’m happy I am back on the Tour. I’m pleased I came here to Doha. So it’s really, really a positive return for me.”

Federer announced later on Twitter that he decided it was best to resume training and had therefore decided to withdraw from next week’s tournament in Dubai.

Basilashvili has now won three consecutive tour matches for the first time since 2019. His semifinal opponent will be Taylor Fritz after the American upset fourth-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

For the first time in the 31-year history of the ATP Tour, a player reached the semifinals without hitting a ball after getting his second walkover in a row.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev benefited from a first-round bye, before Richard Gasquet withdrew ahead of their second-round match. Marton Fucsovics then withdrew from their quarterfinal Thursday with a lower back injury.

Rublev will face either top-seeded Dominic Thiem or fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in Saturday’s final.

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.

Nakashima takes first ATP Tour title at San Diego

San Diego Open - Finals
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SAN DIEGO – Brandon Nakashima earned his first ATP Tour victory in his hometown, beating friend and fellow Southern Californian Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4 in the San Diego Open final.

“It’s super-special, something you dream of, but to have it happen in my hometown with all my friends and family here, it’s a moment I’ll never forget,” said Nakashima, who had two previous finals appearances. “I hope there are many more moments like this to come.”

Nakashima, a 21-year-old who grew up in San Diego and trained extensively at the event’s site as a junior, clinched the opening set in only 30 minutes. The second set, filled with lengthy rallies, took nearly an hour.

Giron, the No. 5 seed and former NCAA title winner from UCLA, wasn’t able to fend off Nakashima’s persistent ground strokes and well-placed serves. Nakashima had eight aces, six in the first set.

Serving at 5-4 in the second set, Nakashima tallied the match’s deciding two points when Giron pushed an easy volley into the net, followed by Nakashima’s second-serve ace.

He earned $93,090, about half of what received for reaching the third round of the U.S. Open in early September.

Nakashima, who was ranked No. 69 on the ATP Tour, moved up to 48, his highest ranking in nearly three years on tour. Despite the loss, Giron moved up to 53 from 58.

Not only was the singles title claimed by an American, the doubles title also taken by an American duo as the second-seeded pair of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow defeated Australians Jason Kubler and Luke Saville 7-6 (5), 6-2.

The $612,00 event was held at Barnes Tennis Center, which next hosts the $757,900 WTA 500 San Diego Open, Oct. 8-16. That will feature 16 of the world’s top-ranked 20 women pros, led by No. 1 Iga Swiatek.