Bautista Agut ends Rublev’s Qatar Open defense in semis

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DOHA, Qatar — Roberto Bautista Agut ended Andrey Rublev’s Qatar Open title defense in the semifinals by upsetting the Russian 6-3, 6-3.

Rublev was also aiming for back-to-back titles after winning the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

The Russian was in the unusual position of playing a semifinal without having spent a minute on court in the singles tournament following a bye and two walkovers, though he had been playing doubles. Rublev served eight aces but still had his serve broken four times by Bautista Agut.

Bautista Agut is into his second final of 2021 following a loss to David Goffin in Montpellier last month. His win at the Qatar Open in January 2019 remains his most recent title on the tour.

The 13th-ranked Spanish player will face Nikoloz Basilashvili for the title in the final after the Georgian beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 6-1.

Basilashvili is in his first final since July 2019 after a Qatar campaign which included a win over Roger Federer’s in the quarterfinals.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.