DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Garbine Muguruza reached her third final of the season after needing seven match points to beat Elise Mertens 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the semifinals of the Dubai Championships.
Muguruza will play Barbora Krejcikova in the final as the Spanish player seeks her first title since April 2019. She lost the Qatar Open final last week to Petra Kvitova and the Yarra Valley Classic final last month to Ash Barty.
Mertens saved three match points in her quarterfinal win over Jessica Pegula and briefly looked on course for a similar escape against Muguruza.
Muguruza served for the match at 5-3 up in the second set but Mertens saved match point and broke Muguruza’s serve. Mertens then saved three more match points in the next game and two in the tiebreak. By the time Muguruza finally secured the win, nearly half an hour had passed since her first match point.
“She’s a very talented player, always gives you an extra ball back,” Muguruza said of Mertens. “Even if I was 5-3 up and had match points I didn’t lose the focus.”
Czech doubles specialist Krejcikova reached her second career singles final with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Swiss player Jil Teichmann. Krejcikova has won five Grand Slam titles in doubles, most recently her third consecutive Australian Open mixed doubles title last month. Her only WTA singles final was a 2017 loss to Kiki Bertens in Nuremburg.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”
PARIS — French Open debutant Peyton Stearns produced the biggest win of her career by defeating former champion Jelena Ostapenko to reach the third round at Roland Garros.
Stearns, a former player at the University of Texas, only turned professional in June last year.
Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open but has since failed to advance past the 3rd round. The 17th-seeded Latvian dropped her serve five times against Stearns and hit 28 unforced errors in her 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 loss.
The 21-year-old Stearns has been climbing the WTA rankings and entered the French Open at No. 69 on the back of an encouraging clay-court campaign.
Third-seeded Jessica Pegula also advanced after Camila Giorgi retired due to injury. The American led 6-2 when her Italian rival threw in the towel.
Only hours after husband Gael Monfils won a five-set thriller, Elina Svitolina rallied past qualifier Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
In the men’s bracket, former runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas ousted Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The fifth-seeded Greek was a bit slow to find his range and was made to work hard for two sets but rolled on after he won the tiebreaker.
No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 3 Novak Djokovic are on court later. Alcaraz meets Taro Daniel on Court Philippe Chatrier, where Djokovic will follow against Martin Fucsovics in the night session.