Lauren Davis wins 2nd WTA title six years after her 1st

Getty Images

HOBART, Australia — American Lauren Davis claimed a second WTA title six years after her first, beating Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-6 (0), 6-2 in the Hobart International final.

The 29-year-old Davis upset fourth-seeded and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round and didn’t drop a set all week. It was Davis’ first WTA title since winning the Auckland event in 2017.

“We put in a lot of hard work over the off season, and . . . over the past several years. To see the fruition of our hard work paying off is a really good feeling,” Davis said.

Both players were unable to convert several break-point chances in a tense first set before the 84th-ranked Davis ran through the tiebreaker to love. She kept the momentum going in the second set, breaking in the second game.

Cocciaretto, ranked 67th, was playing her first WTA final after a strong run featuring wins over third-seeded Alize Cornet in the first round and former Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin in the semifinals.

The 21-year-old Italian, who played the match with strapping on her left thigh but didn’t appear hampered, faces Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the first round of the Australian Open which begins Monday.

Davis becomes the fourth qualifier in the past 11 years to win the trophy in Hobart, following Mona Barthel (2012), Garbine Muguruza (2014) and Elise Mertens (2017).

Davis will play 54th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the first round of the Australian Open.

“(The win) gives me a ton of confidence,” Davis said. “I did a really good job of staying disciplined throughout the tournament. Going into next week I honestly feel pretty fresh, I don’t feel too tired at all.”

At French Open, Francisco Cerundolo is mad at chair umpire over Holger Rune’s double-bounce

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS – Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was devastated about losing his French Open fourth-round match to Holger Rune of Denmark in a fifth-set tiebreaker Monday. He also was mad at chair umpire Kader Nouni for missing a double-bounce of the ball on a point that was awarded to Rune early in his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory.

They were tied at a set apiece and on serve at 2-1 for the No. 6-seeded Rune early in the third at Court Suzanne Lenglen when the point of contention happened. Cerundolo, who was serving at deuce, hit a forehand that skidded low at the baseline and quickly bounced a second time – which normally would have meant that the point was his.

But Rune went ahead and got his racket on the ball, sending it back over the net. At about the same time, No. 23 seed Cerundolo was saying “sorry” to apologize for the odd way his forehand made the ball skim across the clay. Nouni was not immediately aware of the double-bounce, thought the ball was still in play and called Cerundolo for hindrance for talking during a point. That meant Rune got the point, and when he won the next one, too, he had a service break.

“It was unbelievable, because it was a clear double-bounce. I was mad at the umpire because he has to see it,” Cerundolo said. “It’s his fault.”

In tennis, electronic line-calling is used at many tournaments to make line calls, but replays are not used to check things like double-bounces or whether a point should be lost because a player touches the net, which is not allowed.

And while Cerundolo put the onus on the official, he also thought Rune could have ceded the point because of the double-bounce.

“For sure, I wish he would have done that, because it was a big moment,” Cerundolo said.

Rune, who moved into a matchup against No. 4 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, said he saw a replay after the following point, and “saw it was a double bounce. But the point already happened, and he called the score. So I felt sorry.”

But, Rune added: “This is tennis. This is sports. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me; some for him. That’s life.”

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.