Kaia Kanepi reaches Citi Open final, seeking 1st title in 9 years

Citi Open - Day 8
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WASHINGTON – Kaia Kanepi moved within one victory of her first title in nine years, overwhelming Daria Saville 6-3, 6-1 at the Citi Open.

Kanepi, a 37-year-old from Estonia, won the last of her four WTA titles in 2013 in Brussels. But she has enjoyed a resurgence this year, reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, and credits smart scheduling for her continued good form.

“It was amazing, actually, for me. I never thought I would make quarters in Australia. I thought it’s not just my place,” said Kanepi, who previously reached the quarterfinals in the other three Grand Slam tournaments. “But I played really well, and then I continued playing well. I actually didn’t put any pressure on myself to achieve something special.”

Kanepi’s match record this year is 19-10, her most victories since 2013, and she is ranked No. 37. She plans to play two more hard-court tournaments before the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 29.

In the final, Kanepi will face 60th-ranked Liudmila Samsonova, who breezed past Xiyun Wang 6-1, 6-1. The 23-year-old Samsonova is seeking her second WTA singles title. She won a hard-court event at New Haven, Connecticut, in 2017.

In the men’s semifinals Saturday night, Wimbledon runner-up Nick Krygios was to face Mikael Ymer, and top-seeded Andrey Rublev was set to play Yoshihito Nishioka.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.