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Tennis Round-up: Berrettini wins Stuttgart Open

Last updated on: June 17, 2019 08:19 IST

Matteo Berrettini  has now won his 3rd ATP title in 11 months

IMAGE: Matteo Berrettini has now won his 3rd ATP title in 11 months. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Italian Matteo Berrettini claimed his first grasscourt title with a 6-4, 7-6(11) victory over Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Stuttgart Open final on Sunday.

World number 30 Berrettini saved five points in the marathon second set tiebreak and held on to win it 13-11 for his third ATP crown in last 11 months.

Berrettini, who defeated home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff in the semi-final, grabbed an early break point in the opening set, as the 18-year-old erred by pushing a backhand approach shot into the net.

 

Auger-Aliassime, who is youngest player in the world's top 100, was unable to take advantage of one of his five chances in the tiebreak, with Berrettini serving well under pressure before taking control of points on his forehand.

Berrettini won all 50 of his service games over the week, claiming more than 89% of his first-serve points in his five matches and becoming the first Italian male grasscourt titlist since Andreas Seppi in Eastbourne in 2011.

The 23-year-old had never tasted victory on grass before, with both his previous wins coming on clay courts in Gstaad and Budapest.

Stuttgart marks Auger-Aliassime's third defeat in as many finals this year after losing out in Rio de Janeiro and Lyon.

Home favourite Bertens in Rosmalen final

The 27-year-old World No 4, Kiki Bertens got an early break of serve to clinch the opening set and put pressure on the 19-year-old Rybakina, who entered the match without having dropped a set this week

IMAGE: The 27-year-old World No 4, Kiki Bertens got an early break of serve to clinch the opening set and put pressure on the 19-year-old Rybakina, who entered the match without having dropped a set this week. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Dutch top seed Kiki Bertens set her sights on her third WTA title of the season after she eased past Kazakh qualifier Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-4 in the Rosmalen grasscourt semi-finals on Saturday.

The 27-year-old World No 4 got an early break of serve to clinch the opening set and put pressure on the 19-year-old Rybakina, who entered the match without having dropped a set this week.

Rybakina mounted a late charge in the second set but Bertens hung on to set up Sunday's title clash against American Alison Riske.

"It's always tough to play someone you've never played before," Bertens said.

"She's had some good wins here, so I'm just really happy to be in the final of my home tournament."

Riske, who is chasing her first title in five years, reached her second final of the year with a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) win over Russian Veronika Kudermetova.

The 28-year-old broke Kudermetova's serve twice in the final set and forced the contest into a tiebreak, where she rallied from 5-2 down to seal victory.

"I'm so emotional right now because honestly I didn't feel like I was going to win that match," Riske said.

"It was such a battle. I thought Veronika played absolutely amazing tennis and... I'm excited to be here for another day."

Bertens has won all her three previous matches against Riske, including an opening-round encounter at this year's Australian Open.

Rain returned later in the day to interrupt the men's semi-finals which will now have to be completed on Sunday.

Second seed Borna Coric was locked in a deciding-set tiebreak with Frenchman Adrian Mannarino when play was suspended while Australian Jordan Thompson was leading 7-5, 5-3 against Richard Gasquet.

Bopanna-Shapovalov lose Mercedes Cup final

Rohan Bopanna missed out on winning his second title of the season, ending runner-up at the ATP Mercedes Cup with partner Denis Shapovalov, in Stuttgart on Sunday.

The unseeded Indo-Canadian combo lost 5-7, 3-6 to top seeds Bruno Soares and John Peers in the final.

Bopanna had won the season-opening Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune with compatriot Divij Sharan.

It was third tournament together for Bopanna and the Canadian, having competed at Indian Wells and Miami Masters before.

Bopanna and Shapovalov had knocked out third seed Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan before getting the better of the French duo Lucas Puille  and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in quarter finals.

Peers and Soares earned 250 points each while Bopanna, who has slipped to 49 in the rankings, and Shapovalov gained 150 points each.

Vekic wins 12 consecutive games to reach Nottingham final

Croatian Donna Vekic reached the final of the weather-hit Nottingham Open grasscourt event on Saturday as she came from a set down to win 12 consecutive games against German Tatjana Maria.

Vekic, the second seed, lost a tight opener before storming to a 5-7, 6-0, 6-0 victory.

What was perhaps more remarkable than the turnaround in Vekic's fortunes, was the fact that it was the first match she had completed on grass all week.

Five days of rain has wrought havoc with the schedule throughout the week, forcing most of the matches to be played on indoor hardcourts rather than the lawns.

Even when Vekic led 5-0 in the decider there was another rain interruption but she returned to complete the win.

"I'm super happy to be back in the final, and finally completed a match on grass as well," Vekic, champion in 2017, said. "That was really fun, to be out there playing again. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

"It's definitely been a crazy week for everyone," the 22-year-old added.

She will face either French top seed Caroline Garcia or American Jennifer Brady in Sunday's final, although they will have to return to court in the morning after yet more rain fell to suspend play in their semi-final on Saturday.

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