Top-seeded Rublev, Ruud reach San Diego Open semifinals

Getty Images
1 Comment

SAN DIEGO — The top two seeds, Andrey Rublev of Russia and Casper Ruud of Norway, have reached the semifinals of the inaugural San Diego Open.

Rublev, who ended the hopes of San Diego native Brandon Nakashima, kept up his strong form and beat sixth-seeded Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 7-5.

Ruud reached the first tour-level hard court semifinal in his career with a routine 6-1, 6-4 victory over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.

Rublev also beat Schwartzman in the recent Laver Cup.

“The match against him at the Laver Cup helped me a lot because we hadn’t played for a really, really long time and I didn’t know what he was doing on court,” Rublev said. “The match at Laver Cup gave me confidence and also let me know how I needed to play today.”

The Russian set up a showdown against Cameron Norrie of Britain, who scored his second straight upset win over a seeded player this week, defeating No. 4 Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-3, 6-1.

Ruud said his match “was closer than it may have seemed, but the key moments and important points went my way today. The three times I broke him, the games were close and at 4-3 in the second I got into a little bit of trouble on my serve but I was able to serve out a close game.

“This is my first semifinal on hard court after reaching the quarters in Toronto and Cincinnati, so it’s another important step in my career. It gives me confidence for tomorrow and the belief that I can beat good players on this surface.”

Ruud will face Grigor Dimitrov, after the unseeded Bulgarian outlasted Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinal nightcap.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

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

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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.”