Iga Swiatek spoils Paula Badosa’s birthday at WTA Finals

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Iga Swiatek departed the WTA Finals with a win after spoiling Paula Badosa’s birthday 7-5, 6-4.

The Polish player couldn’t advance from her group after losing her first two singles but got to finish her two-title season with a smile. She also ended Badosa’s eight-match winning streak.

Swiatek, the youngest player at 20 in the eight-women field, came from a break down in each set.

“I think it was a really solid match from me. I’m pretty happy that I had a chance to show my tennis finally, overcome all these factors around, just play the game”, said Swiatek. “For sure this tournament was special. Playing three days with such high-quality players, it’s hard. I hope my next time is going to be a little bit more lucky for me”.

Badosa, 24 on Monday, had already qualified first in their group and will face Spanish compatriot Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals.

“I was quite focused, thinking about the match I have tomorrow. It’s an important one”, said Badosa, who is looking forward to facing Muguruza, a player she used to idolize. “I think it’s amazing to have two Spanish players. For me it was already a dream to be here, so you can imagine how I feel to play the semifinals and against her”.

Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari played the late match on Monday, with the winner going to the semifinals to face Anett Kontaveit.

The semifinals are on Tuesday and the final is set for Wednesday at Centro Panamericano de Tenis in Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara.

Swiatek lost her only previous meeting with Badosa in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics.

Badosa won the first titles of her career this year in Belgrade and Indian Wells, and is among six players to have made their top-10 debut this season.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

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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
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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.”