Goffin and Thompson reach 2nd round at Monte Carlo Masters

Getty Images
0 Comments

MONACO — David Goffin beat an erratic Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 to reach the second round of the clay-court Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.

Although the 2014 U.S. Open champion Cilic had 10 aces and led the match 3-0, he made 52 unforced errors and also dropped serve six times against the 11th-seeded Belgian.

It was the ninth meeting between them. Goffin leads 5-4.

“In the first and second set, I had problems with the returns,” the 30-year-old Goffin said. “In the third set, I was more consistent. It was a good match.”

The day’s only other match lasted three hours as Australian player Jordan Thompson overcame Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5) in an error-strewn match with 17 service breaks.

Thompson has won his two career matches against Paire, with both on clay.

Rafael Nadal seeks a record-extending 12th title here and the 20-time Grand Slam champion could meet top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the Australian Open champion, in next Sunday’s final.

Djokovic beat Nadal in the 2013 final and won the tournament again in 2015, while Nadal’s 11th title came in 2018.

Nadal was convincingly beaten by Fabio Fognini in the semifinals in 2019, and the tournament was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sonego beats Bublik at Moselle Open to win 1st title of 2022

Winston-Salem Open - Day 5
Getty Images
1 Comment

METZ, France – Lorenzo Sonego clinched his first title of the season by beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the Moselle Open final.

The 27-year-old Italian did not drop a set all tournament as he won the third title of his career and first on hard courts.

The unseeded Sonego recovered from 0-40 down in the fifth game of the match and secured victory when the seventh-seeded Bublik sent a backhand return long.

He then danced on court as he celebrated a perfect tournament where he also beat defending champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals.

Sonego’s win will move him up 21 places in the ATP rankings and into 44th place.

Samsonova beats Zheng to win 3rd WTA title in 2 months

Toray Pan Pacific Open - Day Seven
Getty Images
0 Comments

TOKYO – Liudmila Samsonova extended a remarkable summer run by clinching her third title in two months after beating rising Chinese player Zheng Qinwen 7-5, 7-5 at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

No. 30-ranked Samsonova won in Washington and Cleveland in August and also reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open. The 23-year-old has now won 18 of her last 19 matches and didn’t drop a set in Tokyo.

“It’s amazing. I think I need a little bit of time to realize it, but it’s unbelievable,” Samsonova said. “It was like a nervous match today. I was really prepared physically but I was tired mentally because I was playing singles and doubles every day. I’m very happy with the way I managed the pressure.”

Samsonova added that the exclusion of Russian players from Wimbledon had helped her game though she stopped short of supporting the move.

“Wimbledon for me is the best tournament. I love it. The news really impacted me. I had one month without a tournament so I thought let’s work,” she said, adding: “I don’t agree that politics should be involved in sports because it’s unfair.”

The match between two power hitters with big serves was close throughout but Samsonova was striking the ball cleaner and stronger.

Zheng, who ousted top-seeded Paula Badosa and No. 4-seeded Veronika Kudermetova, was broken in the first set after giving up her first double fault on deuce in the 11th game.

Samsonova, who defeated Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the first round and former world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza in the quarterfinals, then sent a perfect forehand that landed in the right-hand corner of the court to break the 19-year-old and go 6-5 up. She took the first set with another strong service game that included her third ace.

Zheng was the first to crack in the second set when she handed Samsonova free points with two double-faults in the fifth game. A double-fault by the Russian saw her drop to 0-40 in the next game and the No. 36-ranked Chinese broke back to level at 3-3.

As in the first set, Zheng was broken in the 11th game. A long forehand at deuce gave Samsonova a breakpoint and she converted it with a crosscourt forehand that sent her opponent the wrong way. Samsonova then won her next game to love after three errors by Zheng, clinching the match 7-5, 7-5.

Samsonova has now won all of the finals she has appeared in.

In reaching the final, Zheng became the youngest Chinese finalist at a tour-level event, beating the mark set by Peng Shuai.