Kerber beats Kvitova to reach Bad Homburg Open final

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BAD HOMBURG, Germany — Angelique Kerber upset top-seeded Petra Kvitova as she won two three-set matches in a day to reach the final of the Bad Homburg Open on Friday.

Seeded fourth, Kerber will bid to win her first title since Wimbledon in 2018 after she beat Kvitova 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3). The German last played a final in 2019.

“It’s unbelievable. To play in front of your home crowd, it’s something really special,” Kerber said. “Playing in front of them, they gave me the last few percent to really win this tight match against Petra.”

Kvitova had problems with her serve at key moments. She handed Kerber the second set with back-to-back double faults and double-faulted again when serving for the match at 6-5 in the decider.

Earlier, Kerber beat Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one of three quarterfinals rescheduled for Friday after rain washed out the entire Thursday schedule.

Kerber will face another Czech player, Katerina Siniakova, in the final after Siniakova beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Sorribes Tormo was fresh after progressing from the quarterfinals by walkover when Victoria Azarenka withdrew, but Siniakova had to come through a quarterfinal against Laura Siegemund 7-5, 6-4 in the morning.

Siniakova is a former top-ranked doubles player searching for her first tour singles title in nearly four years. She is 2-3 in career finals and has never before reached a final on grass.

Kerber has won four of five career meetings with Siniakova, including their only grass-court match, in Birmingham in 2015.

Kerber is seeded 25th for Wimbledon and will play Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic in the first round next week.

Siniakova has been drawn against 27th-seeded British player Johanna Konta.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

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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.”

Debutant Stearns beats former champ Ostapenko to reach French Open 3rd round

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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.