issa-sbf-white-logo.png
ssflogo2.png

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed his first ATP Tour win since July at the Moselle Open, while Evgeny Donskoy booked a date with US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev at the St Petersburg Open.

After first-round defeats at the Rogers Cup and US Open, Tsonga this month dropped down to the Challenger Tour and won the Cassis Open without dropping a set.

The former world number five, a three-time champion in Metz, came from a set down to defeat Pablo Andujar 3-6 6-1 6-2 and set up a second-round clash with Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who downed eighth seed Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

Pablo Carreno Busta made light work of Julian Lenz, triumphing 6-1 6-1 in just 57 minutes, and the Spaniard will face top seed David Goffin in round two.

There were also wins for Richard Gasquet, Lorenzo Sonego, Gregoire Barrere and Aljaz Bedene.

Donskoy overcame Matteo Viola 6-2 6-1 in St Petersburg but can expect a far sterner test against world number four and fellow Russian Medvedev in the second round.

Andrey Rublev rallied from a set down and then a break down in the third to triumph 4-6 6-0 6-4 against Ilya Ivashka. Ricardas Berankis awaits him after overcoming Dudi Sela 6-3 6-0 in 62 minutes.

Roberto Carballes Baena downed 2012 champion Martin Klizan 6-2 7-5, while Egor Gerasimov beat Lukas Rosol 7-5 6-2 and Janko Tipsarevic retired while 7-5 3-6 3-1 down to Damir Dzumhur.

Elina Svitolina made up for a sluggish start by beating Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets at the Guangzhou Open but second seed Wang Qiang crashed out.

World number three Svitolina, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open, dropped her serve in the opening game of her first-round clash before reeling off five in succession en route to taking the set.

The top seeded Ukrainian fended off four break points to consolidate starting the second with a break, but she was unable to serve out the match at the first attempt.

Svitolina responded immediately, though, breaking to complete the 6-3 6-3 triumph in just 69 minutes and setting up a meeting with Marie Bouzkova.

Wang saved four match points against Shuai Peng but was unable to join Svitolina in the second round.

Although Wang moved ahead of Shuai with four breaks across the match, she got only 43 per cent of her first serves in and won just 54% of points behind it in a 7-5 6-2 loss.

Katarina Zavatska came from behind to defeat Fiona Ferro 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in three hours and 27 minutes – the longest WTA Tour main-draw match of the year.

Sofia Kenin, Zhang Shuai, Katerina Siniakova and Zheng Saisai were the other seeds to advance.

At the Korea Open, Patricia Maria Tig made the most of top seed Maria Sakkari's withdrawal due to a right wrist injury by defeating lucky loser Danka Kovinic 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-3).

Jelena Ostapenko, the champion in 2017, fell 6-3 6-3 to Timea Babos, while sixth seed Polona Hercog went down 6-3 3-6 6-1 against Ana Bogdan.

There were also wins for Karolina Muchova and Ajla Tomljanovic, seeded third and fifth respectively.

Roger Federer has planned his schedule up until next year's Wimbledon and within a month intends to make a decision on playing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Olympic singles gold is the only major title to have evaded Federer during his illustrious career, having gone closest when he lost in the final to Andy Murray at London 2012.

The 20-time major champion triumphed in the men's doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka four years prior in Beijing, but he was forced to sit out Rio 2016 due to a knee injury.

Federer is hopeful of having another shot at Olympic singles success but for now is only looking as far ahead as next year's Wimbledon.

"I'm very excited about the prospect of maybe playing the Olympic Games, but I'm not quite sure yet," said Federer, who is in Geneva ahead of the Laver Cup.

"My planning goes until Wimbledon next year which is a couple of weeks before the Olympics, so I guess I'm going to be deciding on the Olympic Games in the next few weeks, hopefully the next month or so.

"It's been such a special event for me over the years. Me and my wife in 2000 carrying the flag in Athens and Beijing for the Swiss Olympic delegation which was a huge dream for me come true.

"Winning doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing then getting the silver in London, at Wimbledon.

"So for me, maybe to be part of it again would be great, especially after missing the last edition in Rio because of a knee injury, but I'll just have to see how my family is doing, how my body is doing, and then if everything is green and I really feel it's the right thing to do, I'll play it, otherwise I'll skip it but it would definitely be a nice challenge, I admit."

Federer played the clay-court season for the first time since 2016 this year and reached the semi-finals of the French Open, where he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

Asked if he will return to the red dirt in 2020, Federer said: "I have decided for myself, but must think about when I announce it."

Madison Keys maintained her 100 per cent record against Daria Kasatkina by beating the Russian in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open.

Keys had dropped just one set in five previous meetings and rarely looked troubled in extending that record with a 6-3 6-4 victory in 75 minutes in Osaka.

The fifth-seeded American's aggressive style, which led to her hitting 24 winners, proved decisive as she set up a second-round clash with qualifier Zarina Diyas.

"I feel good, I'm always a little bit nervous ahead of my first matches," Keys said. "It's always hard to get out there and get all the nerves out, I started a little slow but I was really happy to get the win."

Seventh seed Donna Vekic also progressed after easing past Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-2. The Croatian will next face Misaki Doi, the runner-up at the Japan Women's Open on Sunday, following her 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Kristina Mladenovic.

Former world number one and two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza is out, however, after squandering a match point on her way to losing to Hsieh Su-wei.

Having won the first set, Muguruza appeared in control but then collapsed in the decider to go down 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

The defeat continues a miserable run for the Spaniard, who has not won a match since beating Elina Svitolina in the third round of the French Open, while Hsieh can now look forward to a second-round encounter with Elise Mertens.

"In the first set, she was hitting the ball very hard, and I was not expecting a game like this," Hsieh said. "I was still trying to find a way to get into the match.

"In the second set, I felt a little bit more rhythm, and more stable." 

Nao Hibino, Doi's conqueror at the weekend, followed Muguruza out of the tournament after losing 6-4 7-5 to Varvara Flink of Russia.

Novak Djokovic remains unsure when he will return from a shoulder injury, but the world number one is eyeing a comeback in Tokyo.

Djokovic retired during a last-16 clash against Stan Wawrinka at the US Open at the start of the month and reports suggested he may need surgery.

The Serbian star is still uncertain as to when he will return, but said he would ideally play at the Japan Open Tennis Championships, an ATP 500 tournament that starts on September 30, as scheduled.

"I would like to tell you when I will be back, but I really do not know exactly. I monitor the results of rehabilitation every day. I monitor how the shoulder responds to recovery," Djokovic told RTS on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the injury was of a more serious nature. It prevented me from continuing the tournament in New York. I'm very sorry.

"It's one of the four biggest tournaments, especially important in the second part of the season."

Djokovic added: "I hope to be on the court in a week or two. For now, in an ideal scenario, the plan is to play Tokyo."

The 32-year-old said he expected to have greater clarity over his return in the next week.

Djokovic has enjoyed another fine season, winning two grand slam titles to take his tally to 16, trailing only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (19).

Mikhail Kukushkin came through his first-round clash at the St Petersburg Open, but former Moselle Open champion Peter Gojowczyk crashed out in Metz.

There were just two main-draw matches in Russia on Monday, with seeds Kukushkin and Adrian Mannarino progressing.

Kukushkin won the tournament in 2010 for his first and only ATP Tour title to date, and the sixth seed had too much for Jannik Sinner in their opener, advancing 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Meanwhile, Mannarino, the seventh seed, eased past Stefano Travaglia 7-5 6-2.

At the Moselle Open, however, the one-time winner in action was not able to reach the second round, with Gojowczyk undone by Filip Krajinovic.

Gojowczyk beat Benoit Paire in the 2017 final but went down 7-5 6-4 on Monday.

Fernando Verdasco has struggled for form in recent months - winning twice since Wimbledon - but got the better of Steve Darcis 6-2 6-2, while Frenchman Antoine Hoang defeated Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

Kristie Ahn built on her impressive run at the US Open by beginning the Korea Open with a double-bagel victory on Monday.

Ahn claimed her first three grand slam match wins to reach the last 16 at Flushing Meadows, beating former major champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko before losing to Elise Mertens.

The 27-year-old climbed 48 places in the rankings as a result - from 141st to 93rd - breaching the top 100 for the first time in her career.

Making her first appearance since the final grand slam of the year, wildcard Ahn carried on in impressive fashion as she took apart Timea Bacsinszky 6-0 6-0 in Seoul.

The four seeds in action on Monday all advanced in straight sets, with Magda Linette (4) easing past 2015 champion Irina-Camelia Begu.

New Russian number one Ekaterina Alexandrova (2), compatriot Margarita Gasparyan (7) and Wang Yafan (8) avoided shocks, as Kristyna Pliskova and Ysaline Bonaventure also progressed.

There were upsets for the seeds at the Guangzhou Open, however, with Aleksandra Krunic - the 2017 finalist now world number 123 - beating 50th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich (7).

Ons Jabeur (8) was also defeated, going down to Bernarda Pera in straight sets, while there were wins for veteran wildcard Sam Stosur, Viktorija Golubic and Marie Bouzkova.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will meet a familiar foe in the form of Kiki Bertens after comfortably dispatching of Dayana Yastremska 6-3 6-1 in round one of the Pan Pacific Open in Osaka.

World number 28 Yastremska – ranked 13 places higher than her opponent – showed flashes of her ability and power, but she ultimately paid the price for an erratic performance.

Yastremska made 23 unforced errors and could only hit 10 winners in the 55-minute contest, with Pavlyuchenkova's more considered and careful approach paying dividends.

Pavlyuchenkova's dubious reward is a fourth encounter of the year with Bertens, who she lost to at the US Open.

The Russian did come out on top at the Australian Open but was defeated by Bertens in St Petersburg prior to her loss at Flushing Meadows.

Ninth seed Elise Mertens – the highest ranked player in action on Monday – sailed through in similarly comfortable fashion, beating Whitney Osuigwe 6-3 6-1.

Alison Riske had no such fortune, however, losing to fellow American Nicole Gibbs 6-4 6-3 despite the latter being ranked 105 places below her in the WTA rankings.

Reigning Olympic champion Monica Puig crashed out in comprehensive fashion, as Zarina Diyas hammered her 6-0 6-3.

The day's longest contest – by far – lasted two hours and 43 minutes, as Viktoriya Tomova came through 4-6 6-3 6-2 against France's Alize Cornet.

Camila Giorgi was pushed all the way in the first set against Han Xinyun before easing to victory in the second, with her 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 triumph ensuring she was one of few to prevent a surprise.

Naomi Osaka is the top seed for the tournament, though she does not begin her bid for success on home soil until later in the week.

Madison Keys – the fifth seed – starts her campaign on Tuesday, as she goes up against Daria Kasatkina.

Karolina Pliskova recovered from a slow start to claim her fourth WTA Tour title of the season in a rain-affected Zhengzhou Open final against Petra Martic.

Pliskova had not been past the quarter-finals of any tournament since winning the Eastbourne International at June, beaten in the last 16 at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

But the top seed rediscovered her form in China this week and wrapped up the championship without dropping a set, defeating Martic 6-3 6-2 despite initially struggling before the weather - a factor throughout the day - decisively intervened.

Rain delayed the start and then disrupted play after just two games in which Pliskova was immediately broken and failed to come up with an instant response.

The world number two appeared to benefit from the stoppage, though, as she won three consecutive games when play resumed, getting back on serve with a brilliant forehand winner down the line just minutes after saving a break point that would have had her 3-0 down.

Further Pliskova pressure in the eighth game told again and she took a third break opportunity to turn the set on its head, confidently and comfortably then serving out the opener for the lead.

The Czech was clinical in the second set, responding to an opening hold to love from Martic by winning three games on the bounce - breaking to love - as she maintained control in a series of rallies before another brief rain delay.

Pliskova again came out firing and broke once more, setting up a straightforward finish for her 15th career title.

Rebecca Peterson hammered Elena Rybakina to claim her maiden WTA title at the Jiangxi Open on Sunday.

Fifth seed Peterson needed just an hour to beat the fourth seed 6-2 6-0 in a one-sided final in Nanchang.

The Swede had just one unforced error against her name as she made light work of defeating Rybakina, hitting 13 winners.

Resolute in defence and enterprising in attack, Peterson blew a tired looking Rybakina away to secure her first title at the age of 24.

Kazakh Rybakina had a first-serve percentage of only 48 and was broken five times in a flat performance after reaching the decider with two battling late-night wins.

Nao Hibino claimed her first WTA Tour singles title since 2015 with an emphatic win over Misaki Doi in the Japan Women's Open Tennis final.

Hibino had won her previous two meetings with Doi and she produced a dominant display in a 6-3 6-2 victory in the all-Japanese decider in Hiroshima on Sunday.

It secured the 24-year-old her second WTA crown and first since winning the title in Tashkent four years ago.

Facing her doubles partner at the tournament, Hibino broke serve an incredible seven times from just nine break points.

Hibino punished Doi's serve, winning 38 of 61 return points to become the first Japanese champion of the event.

Doi, meanwhile, now holds a 1-2 win-loss record in WTA Tour singles finals, having secured her only title in 2015.

Veronika Kudermetova missed out on her first WTA singles final as there was double joy for the home fans at the Japan Women's Open.

Second seed Kudermetova has enjoyed an impressive 2019 campaign, the 22-year-old winning a 125k series event in Guadalajara in March and beating Caroline Wozniacki en route to the third round at the French Open before reaching the semi-finals in 's-Hertogenbosch.

However, a final at tour level continues to elude her, with the Russian denied a place in the Hiroshima showpiece by Misaki Doi, who claimed a 6-4 6-3 victory in their last-four clash.

Doi will face compatriot Nao Hibino in an all-Japanese final. Hibino came from a set down to defeat Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6 6-0 6-3.

The semi-finals at the Jiangxi Open in Nanchang went with the form book.

Fourth seed Elena Rybakina won a three-setter with Peng Shuai 6-1 3-6 6-2 and will meet fifth seed Rebecca Peterson in the final after the Swede's 6-3 6-1 victory over Nina Stojanovic.

Karolina Pliskova and Petra Martic both wasted little time in recording convincing wins to make it through to the Zhengzhou Open final.

Top seed Pliskova needed just 68 minutes to see off Ajla Tomljanovic, winning 93 per cent of the points on her first serve as she coasted to a 6-3 6-2 triumph.

The Czech's smooth progress came after she had to play twice on Friday following rain, recording wins over Polona Hercog and then Sofia Kenin.

The 27-year-old, ranked two in the world, will be aiming to win a fourth title in 2019, following on from triumphs in Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne. She was also a beaten finalist in Miami.

Standing in her way will be Martic, who was fractionally quicker in winning her semi-final against Kristina Mladenovic. The seventh seed wrapped up a 6-0 6-3 result in 67 minutes.

She was aided by five double faults from Mladenovic in a lopsided first set, though the Frenchwoman improved in the second, coming close to a break in a lengthy seventh game.

However, Martic – who won her maiden WTA Tour title in Istanbul earlier this year – held under pressure before breaking emphatically in the next, allowing her to serve out for the match.

Home favourites Misaki Doi and Nao Hibino moved into the Japan Women's Open final on Saturday.

For the first time since it was founded in 2009, the WTA Tour event will have a Japanese champion after Doi and Hibino got through their semi-finals matches.

Doi upset second seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 6-3 to set up a meeting with doubles partner Hibino.

The 28-year-old Doi managed to take her chances, converting three of six break points as Kudermetova capitalised on just one of four.

Hibino overcame Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6 6-0 6-3 to reach her fifth WTA Tour final.

It will also be the first all-Japanese WTA singles final since 1997, when Naoko Sawamatsu beat Yuka Yoshida in Jakarta.

Doi and Hibino have also reached the doubles final in Hiroshima, with Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh awaiting them in that decider.

A new Japan Women's Open champion will be crowned this weekend after home contender Nao Hibino dethroned Hsieh Su-wei to reach the semi-finals.

World number 146 Hibino defeated the top seed 6-4 6-3 on Friday and will face Mihaela Buzarnescu in the last four in Hiroshima.

The unseeded Hibino will play in her first Tour-level semi-final for almost two years after hitting 25 winners and breaking five times to advance in straight sets.

Romanian Buzarnescu stayed in the hunt for the title with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Alison Van Uytvanck.

Veronika Kudermetova, the second seed, beat Laura Siegemund 6-3 4-6 6-2 and will take on Misaki Doi, a 7-5 6-1 winner against Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Two-time champion Peng Shuai moved into the semi-finals of the Jiangxi Open with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) defeat of Zhu Lin.

Peng will do battle with Elena Rybakina after she went through at the expense of Viktorija Golubic in Nanchang, while Rebecca Peterson and Nina Stojanovic progressed by seeing off Magda Linette and Kateryna Kozlova respectively.

Page 1 of 159
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.